Voice classes I offer through various schools and organizations

I hesitate to call my elder singers “cute.”  But that keeps coming to mind.  My mom used that word plenty and I’ve used it from everything to describe shoes, food, people and especially animals.   Can’t help it.  But what is NOT cute about:

  • folks who have already proven themselves as capable, competent,  distinguished and all the other adjectives that describe adult behavior AND
  • are willing to be silly and playful in order to find creative expression.

It’s not that we try to act silly in class or onstage.  It’s just that we are willing to let go of those carefully crafted personas we developed as we grew into adulthood.  We let go of having to be in charge and set an example to the kids, the bosses, the clients.

I teach all ages and learn from them all.  That’s the fun of teaching, continuing to learn.  What I notice is how LITTLE my older students complain about what they cannot do or what ails them.  They go on, move forward and keep growing.  It inspires me to be a better conductor and pianist.  So, come to one of the class concerts I’m conducting in the next few weeks.  JP Jubilee is the new name for Singing for Seniors at The Boston Public Library. Our concert will be short, free and full of fun.  Thursday December 5 at 7:30 pm in Jamaica Plain, see full info below.a group of energetic senior singers with their mouths open in song

…And The Platinum Singers are performing at the Harriet Tubman House on Wednesday, December 18 at 2:30 in the afternoon.  An in-house concert of an hour with these sweeties.  We just had a grand pre-Thanksgiving lunch with a terrific group called “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren”.  They sang along with us and told us their stories (if we asked).  Directions to the Tubman House:  www.uses.org  Flyer to follow shortly…

Liz standing in front of the small chorus, all wearing Platinum Singers/USES banners around their necks

So, is there a better word than cute?  Let me know and I’ll try to incorporate it…

15 singers in white shirts and red choir stoles gathered outdoors at the Boston Common to sing for peace
What the World Needs Now is Love, and other delights by Platinum Singers and Friends, conducted by Yours Truly

Ah, New England in the Fall…

The Platinum Singers sang at the International Day of Peace gathering on Boston Common, September 21, 2013. I conduct/direct this fabulous group, and we had some guest singers from the Singing for Seniors at our neighborhood branch library. There were liturgical dancers, the Raging Grannies and speakers at this beautiful event. Thanks to Ghanda DiFiglia who invited us to sing here.

I learned a lot, and especially about leaning on a portable keyboard–sometimes a drum set starts up at the oddest times! And I am also learning about placing singers in front of microphones. Okay! Some of us are pretty shy about those mics.

Last night I sang at a retirement party for a faculty member at Tufts–John McDonald asked if I’d sing “Death and the Maiden”, a famous Schubert song, before a string quartet played the movement of the same name. What a great, intense and dramatic piece, all rolled into 1 1/2 minutes! I should make a career of these memorable cameos. Very satisfying. Singing about death is nothing new to this contralto. We get the sad songs all the time. Next month, I’ll be singing Bach’s take on welcoming death, Schlummert Ein (from Cantata #82, Ich Habe Genug) at a benefit for MS research. http://singtocurems.org/support/poster11-2013Q.pdf

Moody seascape with three small figures in the lower left corner, including Professor Janet Schmalfeldt, and Weird Al Yankovic
Honoring Janet Schmalfeldt, “the Monk by the Sea” has been joined by Professor S and Weird Al Yankovic

PlatinumSingers1Happy New Year! I am delighted to be starting a new season with a new studio, a new job, new music written for me, and the return of many beloved students.

I inaugurate my new studio on Monday September 16–I have a good number of folks sign up for weekly lessons and still have room for the “occasional” student who wants a lesson every other week or every so often.  Address:  11A Medford Street, Arlington, at Mass Ave, just between The Regent Theater and The Book Rack.  Easy parking and a Starbucks on the corner.   I continue to see students at my Jamaica Plain studio as well.  Contact me if you’re interested in lessons at either location.

Two classes begin the week of  September 16th. Here are some flyers for the classes for seniors: BPL Fall 2013 flyer

Platinum Singers Fall 2013

At the New England Conservatory, we begin the Handel for Singers and Instrumentalists on September 25.

I am in that happy place of having sung Rosh Hashanah services with the Havurah on the Cape, been hosted and fed exquisite soul food (Challah, honey cake, matzoh balls, chopped liver, yum) and ready to do the even Bigger Sing, Yom Kippur. Cape Cod is a gorgeous place this time of the year, and the congregation is both traditional and modern, as they say, “Cape Coddish”. I sing old melodies and some of Bob Snyder’s from my Sudbury days, a couple of tunes from my students, Rabbi Minna Bromberg and Cantor Elana Rozenfeld, and even one of my own originals, entitled, “Song of the Sea.” It is an appropriate title for a havurah that is called Am HaYam (people of the sea).

I was recently hired to teach a class at the Simon Fireman Communityin Randolph for the Fall–more seniors singing–the best of Creative Aging!

Finally, I just received the score to a new song cycle for our Mockingbird Trio.  Francine Trester has written “A View from Heartbreak Hill,” for contralto, viola and piano.  Fran wrote words and music, and these six short songs are in response to the Marathon bombings of April 2013.  They are not all sad or morose–Fran is more skillful at conveying complicated emotions than just that.  She takes some of the commonly heard lines:  “if you see something, say something” and “look for the helpers” and brings us into the grand and mundane.  We plan to present these songs before the anniversary of the bombings.

Oh, yes, I joined Facebook.  Please “like” me on my page and something good will come of it.

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.
Image
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

 

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

Tuesday April 12, 2011, 1:30-2:00pm
Grand Staircase,
Massachusetts State House, Beacon Hill

The Platinum Singers, a group of elder singers with heart, voices and great attitude (see the teaching page on my site for a video of this group) will be performing as part of an art exhibit opening called Violence Transformed. www.violencetransformed.org

One of our songs is “1,000 Grandmothers” written by Holly Near.
The Platinum Singers rehearse weekly at the Harriet Tubman House of the United South End Settlements (www.USES.org). Come hear us or join us next Fall.

By the way, the fellow who made the video about our singing group (which is actually a voice class), Scott LaPierre, recently won a journalism award for his great work. Go Scott!