The Dutchess: Millie Keyes
Millie Keyes began formal vocal training under Broadway performer Shirley Tiernan Judd and, in high school, joined the Hendrick Hudsonaires, an elite a capella group based in Montrose, N.Y. Following this, she performed at local venues, weddings, and in minstrel shows. While working and raising a family, Millie performed regularly at the Peekskill Yacht Club. She was also able to sing while traveling, performing in Canada, on the trans-Atlantic steamship S.S. France, and in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
After retiring to Delaware, Millie joined the Cape Seashore Singers and the Sea Siders, performing for the governor and frequently getting solo features. When she returned to Poughkeepsie, she rejoined the Mid-Hudson Valley IBM Club Chorus, and has been a soloist.
Duke: Don Twitchell
(Soprano, Alto, and Tenor)
Don started playing soprano sax at age 12. In high school he switched to alto sax which he played in the school band and his own four piece dance band. Don continued to play in college.
In 1985, Don joined Switch in Time jazz ensemble playing alto, tenor and baritone sax. In 1999 and continuing today Don also plays with The Big Band Sound jazz orchestra.
Duke: Tom Kowalchuk
Tom began his musical career playing the accordion. The music from the Great American Songbook was a highlight of family gatherings. In high school he formed a 5 piece rock and roll band. This band of 13 year olds was not only invited to play at the NY State Pavilion at the World’s Fair, but also invited back to close the Fair on the last day.
Over the years Tom expanded his talent playing the piano and keyboards working in many other bands, playing outdoor concerts, dinner dances, cocktail parties and oldies shows. His resume includes backing the Chantels and opening for such hit bands as The Beach Boys, The Duprees, and the Classics, to name a few.
Currently he still enjoys these venues as well as working with the Dukes and Dutchess which has brought his career full circle back to his beginnings with the music so many love and remember in the Great American Songbook.