Just yesterday the Platinum Singers performed a concert with the Boston City Singers at the Harriet Tubman House.  I hope to have pics and maybe a video later, but I can tell you, one of the “lunch ladies”, a senior who eats a hot lunch at the settlement house every weekday, announced, “This is exactly what we needed!” I got teary when Winnie Lowery read the first stanza of “Lifeline”, the Harriet Tubman song; others were touched by the Burt Bacharach/Hal David tune “What the world needs now is Love, sweet love”.  All I know is, we chose the program long ago, but it never is in bad taste to sing about love and courage.  Many of the Boston City Singers know the Richard family, as they are based in Dorchester, and Martin’s little sister sings in the youngest group of this chorus.  Great kids, great event.

Tuesday, April 30, something different:

April 30, 2013, 12:30 pm
Liberman-Miller Lecture Hall
Women’s Studies Research Center
Epstein Building, Brandeis University
public lecture
The Green House: A Conversation between Composer, Performer, and Poet
What happens when poetry becomes song? Composer and WSRC Visiting Scholar Dana Maiben invites Cambridge poet Martha Collins and singer Elizabeth Anker to compare notes and queries about Collins’s poems, “The Green House” and their musical settings by Maiben, slated for their world premiere at Brandeis February 3rd.
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And Thursday, May 2, my newest, shiniest singing group/class at the Boston Public Library’s Jamaica Plain branch, will debut in a (very) short program starting at 7:00pm.  What a delight to be able to work with terrific mature singers all around the Boston area and have so much fun doing it.  We will perform show tunes and invite the audience to share in some Everly Brothers harmony.  Free!
Singing for Seniors will also be at the Wake up the Earth parade on Saturday May 4, at 10:30am, singing/cheering on the folks from the JP Library’s entrance in our first outdoor appearance.

Liz conducts  the Platinum Singers:  In the Mix
In The Mix: An Inter-Generational Concert

The date; Sunday, April 28, 2013
The place: Harriett Tubman House, USES at the corner of Massachusetts Ave and Columbus Aveue in the South End (586 Columbus Ave, half a block from the MBTA orange line Mass Ave Station and many bus lines)
The time: 2:00 pm
The performers: Boston City Singers Cantare under the direction of Josh DeWitte and the United South End Settlements Platinum Singers under the direction of Elizabeth Anker
FREE but RSVP is requested to aedwards@uses.org
For more information, call 617-375-8108 or visit www.uses.org

I have a lot to be thankful for these days.

photo credit (c) Charlotte Fiorito Photography 2012, All Rights Reserved

In no particular order:

I recently sang and taught at an amazing  event in San Jose, CA.  The Tech Awards give innovative folks who are doing great works to benefit humanity  a chance to be seen and heard and to get monetary awards.  I got to give a workshop for these engineers and scientists, to aid them in presenting their projects in public.

From a Distance, video of The Tech Awards ceremony with my new friend Dolores

Bonus: Did you hear the embedded melody in the piano?  Our arrangement.

That weekend I also had a visit with my wonderful 89-year old voice teacher in Berkeley, Lilian Loran.  She gave me the confidence to pursue solo singing and to “sing classical music the way you sing your Carole King songs.”  Well, I now give the same advice to my students.  I met my colleague from long ago, Susie Morris, at Lilian’s, and we sang “Sound the Trumpets” of Purcell for her.  I believe we last sang that duet in 1979, and it was like we had never parted!

Eleanor Cohen and I visited that weekend.  Although she was never my piano nor voice teacher, she was a mentor to me: she told my dad I had one of the few true contralto voices and he should stop bugging me to stop doing music and try for medical school.  She’s “only” 86 and still stands on her head every day.  Thanks, Ellie!

We’ll be recording John McDonald’s The Budbill Seasons in December, Elizabeth Bennett and I.  Elizabeth is a Shakuhashi player, and the poet, David Budbill was a student of hers.   In Winter: Tonight: Sunset, the speaker expresses appreciation:

“…I pause in this moment  at the beginning of my old age and I say a prayer of gratitude for getting to this evening…”

www.davidbudbill.com

Once home in Boston, I saw Ann Moss, a delightful colleague who took my graduate level classes once upon a time at Longy.  She is launching her own solo CD project and we were there to encourage her. You can check out her project of new works (and Joni Mitchell songs–I’m glad she learned that lesson well to combine art songs of all genres) at http://annmosssoprano.tumblr.com/currents

Dana Maiben is writing a piece for our Mockingbird Trio, The Green House, to be premiered on February 3 at Brandeis University, and the early drafts look wonderful.  Story by Martha Collins.

We have been awarded another grant to teach Singing to senior citizens–in my home branch of the Boston Public Library.  It will begin on Fridays in March.
Hooray for MetLife and Creative Aging!  Platinum Singers continue as well…

And finally, I’ll be performing a set at the Lily Pad in Cambridge, MA  on Sunday February 24.  Special guests to be announced.  Improvisation and original songs are sure to be part of this mix.

 

Private lessons

Jamaica Plain

All levels & styles

www.elizabethanker.com

 

Voice classes for adults

in

Boston and Cambridge

See below

Singing for Everyone

(Longy School of Music CS005A)

Registration ends soon!

Learn breathing, improve range and tone,

all repertoires welcome,

No prerequisites!

Thursdays, 7:30 PM -9:00 PM

Begins Thursday, September 20

10 meetings per semester $395

communityprograms@longy.edu

617-876-0956, ext. 1650

www.Longy.edu

Bach Arias

For Singers and Instrumentalists

(New England Conservatory’s School of Continuing Ed)

Sing the fabulous arias and duets of Bach with instrumentalists. Develop style, phrasing, and rehearsal techniques; Perform at end. Prerequisite: Familiarity with singing German and ability to learn music on one’s own.

Wednesdays 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Begins Wednesday September 19      (no class Sept 26)
15 meetings per semester $640

 

Platinum Singers

(Boston’s United South End Settlements)

Seniors have a blast singing, learning vocal health, and performing!

 

Harriet Tubman House, Corner Mass. Ave and Columbus Ave.  South End

www.USES.org  617 536-8610 Registration:  hviarruel@uses.org

Wednesdays, 2-3:30pm, Begins Wednesday, October 3, 2012

12 meetings, $15 suggested donation per semester

Watch: http://www.boston.com/video/viral_page/?/services/player/bcpid19067533001&bctid=68935457001

Busman’s holiday: I attended a workshop with Bobby McFerrin and Voicestra recently.  I’m pretty good at improvising and was excited about working with my teacher Rhiannon and finally meeting Bobby and the others.

Well, I can still sing pretty good, but I have a lot to learn.  And I learned a lot about how people work together to create from scratch and how beginners must feel when they come to one of my voice classes.  I can’t do all the cool rhythms right off the bat; I have trouble keeping my part going when others are doing something  completely different–just as the beginning choir member has trouble singing a round.  Yes, just like that.  I was so blown away by some of the counter rhythms of the other groups (circle singing is an act of making improvised parts and putting them together on the spot, sometimes someone will solo over them, but it has a lot to do with how things fit to make an interesting whole) that I had to stop and listen.  That’s good, if others are carrying on.   We would lose our beat, we would get bored just “holding an alto part.”  Just like life.  Doing the laundry, holding an alto part.

I met some really talented folks there, not all singers at all–a tap dance teacher, a film composer, drummers and activists.  And we all listened and learned and had a great time, playing.  Like summer camp for adults, with vegetarian food.

Now, school starts up, I get to try out the circle singing with my students (if they don’t know they’re improvising they loosen up more quickly) and go be a cantor for the High Holidays.  Oh yes, and sing the opera about the bunny hoarder again.

Pretty good life, pretty great, actually.

Officer O’Hare is not so sure about Mrs. Ringwald and her bunnies Newsflash!Thursday’s performance of 334 Bunnies January 26, 8:00pm EST will be web streamed from the Longy School.  Go to www.concertwindow.com/longy for details.

There will be a talk-back after both performances.  The entire opera is less than one hour.

Thursday, January 26, 8:00pm at Longy School of Music, Cambridge.
http://www.longy.edu
Saturday, February 4, 4:00pm at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Jamaica Plain, MA.  http://www.jpconcerts.org

We will also be hopping to Shirley, MA on May 19, 2012 at the Meeting House.