Longtime PTP member Patricia “Pat” McConkey was a woman who was full of fire and her spirit always shone brightly through. Pat possessed a love of the fine arts throughout her whole span of life and loved to express this love mainly in singing and acting. She actively participated in many groups during her time in Southern Maryland. Shortly after arriving in Prince George’s county in 1976, Pat became a member of the a cappella women’s barbershop harmony group, The Sweet Adelines. She was a part of the Sweet Adelines for many, many years. She was very proud to be part of an international organization dedicated to preserving the unique sound of a cappella barbershop harmony. She was also a participant in the Senior Idol competitions in Prince George County in the 2000s.
Pat also participated as a soprano singer in the Chesapeake Choral Arts Society (CCAS) from the fall of 2003 to the spring of 2017. Pat performed many great works in her tenure with the choir, singing in such pieces as “The Magnificat” by John Rutter, Handel’s “Messiah,” and “Requiem” pieces by both Rutter and Brahms. Pat particularly enjoyed the ‘Pops’ concerts performed by the choir, where she could allow her spirit to show with solo performances such as Kids from Bye, Bye Birdie, The Firefly, from Ogden Nash’s Animal Crackers, and The Thing-Ummy Bob (That’s Going to Win the War), by Gordon Thompson and David Heneker. A highlight of Pat’s singing career was when she had the chance to perform in Vienna, Austria and in Prague, Czech Republic as part of a vocal tour with Pilgrim Church, Church of Christ which included members of CCAS. Pat was also active in many summer vocal workshops in the 80s and 90s, hosted at Port Tobacco Players theater.
In 1981 Pat, along with her son Michael Santana, became part of the Port Tobacco Players performing theater group, with her first show being “A Christmas Carol”. In 2002, Pat was nominated for a The Washington Area Theatre Community Honors (WATCH) award for Outstanding Cameo in a Play, for her role as “Gay Wellington” in You Can't Take It With You. During her time with PTP, Pat performed in several shows at the Black Box theater in Indian Head MD and was one of the last original members of PTP’s Encore Adults group, a local traveling troupe sponsored by PTP, performing from the 1980s to the 2010s. Working to continue the spread of viewership for the arts, Pat participated in the Center Stars touring show from the Richard R. Clark Senior Center in her later years. She sang in the troupe with the Silver Tones and also played hand bells for the group.
Pat was also an active participant in the community theater group located at the College of Southern Maryland, where she worked regularly with CSM staff members Emmitt Woodey and Keith Hight, largely in musical theater productions. Other groups in which Pat spent time in theater include the Tantallon Community Players, in Fort Washington Maryland, where she performed in a variety of shows from 1980 to the early 2000s.
She will be sorely missed in the performing arts world of Southern Maryland.
Port Tobacco Players