Institute for Learning in Retirement


Would you like to teach a class in SaddleBrooke?

Kenneth Marich

The Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) can offer you that opportunity. You don’t need a background in teaching, just the desire to share your knowledge with others. Your knowledge can be derived from your job, your avocation or your lifelong passion. Why not share your talents with your community?

The purpose of the ILR is to provide a broad range of quality educational opportunities for the residents of SaddleBrooke. The ILR educational program started in 2006 and over the last 11 years has grown to over 1300 sustaining subscribers and has offered over 300 courses by 60 SaddleBrooke residents. The ILR has offered courses in a wide variety of subjects including history, art, science, medicine, literature, music, astronomy, wine tasting and many more. Courses usually last five to six weeks and meet once a week for two hours. This allows the instructor time to develop their topic and for ample class discussion. There are no tests, no grades and no papers making this an enjoyable experience for both the instructor and the students.

The ILR has two terms, one in the winter/spring and the other in the fall. Classes are usually limited in size from 25-45 students. The ILR will publicize your class, provide audio-visual equipment and handle all of the student registration. We welcome any SaddleBrooke residents who would like to teach an ILR course. It’s easy to get started, develop a course outline that provides a brief overview and topics to be covered in each weekly session. Also include your resume/curriculum vitae summarizing your area(s) of expertise. This information will be reviewed by the Curriculum Development Committee. For more information or questions contact Mike Carran at [email protected]. You will get a response for your proposed course within a few weeks. Also visit our website at

Meet the ILR instructor: Gail A. Nelli

Ken Marich

The ILR is fortunate to have Gail Nelli, an expert in musical theatre, as an Instructor in the SaddleBrooke’s Institute for Learning in Retirement. She has spent her life teaching and performing in the theatre arts field. In 2001 she was honored with the Rod Marriott Award for “Lifetime Achievement in Theatre Education” in New York State.

Gail was born in Rochester, NY and spent her childhood there and in Sodus Point, NY. She began performing at the age of five in community and regional music and theatre venues in New York State. In 1972 Gail earned a B.A. degree in Secondary Education, majoring in Speech and Theatre, from SUNY Oswego. She continued with graduate work in Education at SUNY Geneseo and later completed a Master’s degree in Arts and Humanities (1990) with dual specialties in Technical Theatre and American Literature at the University of Buffalo. While in college she performed in musicals and two choral ensembles. Gail holds two permanent teacher certificates in NY State in Speech and Theatre K-12 and English 7-12.

For 32 years Gail taught high school theatre, speech and English in New York. She developed a five-unit theatre sequence program for students pursuing a college major in theatre and musical theatre. As a role model for her students she performed as an actor and singer, set designer and theatre director. During her career Gail has directed over 45 productions (plays and musicals) and was scenic designer for over 24 productions. As a lifetime member of the New York State Theatre Association since 1984, Gail has served on the Board of Trustees for eight years including one term as President.

Gail and her husband Robert met on a blind date and they have been happily married for 44 years. They built their home in SaddleBrooke in 2002. Currently they spend six months in SaddleBrooke (October-April) and six months in Leicester, NY. Gail has regularly performed in SaddleBrooke as both an actor and vocalist in our Variety Shows, with the SaddleBrooke Singers and with the SaddleBrooke Performing Arts Group. She has taught ILR classes on The American Broadway Musical, Anatomy of the Broadway Musical, The Songwriters and Songs of the Great American Songbook and Mr. Music and Mr. Words: The Songs of The Gershwin Brothers. Her next class will be offered in the spring 2019 entitled: The Music of Irving Berlin. Don’t miss it!

The ILR is pleased to have Gail Nelli as an Instructor and a thespian in our local theatre. For more information on the ILR go to