Marian Anderson: A Singing Legend By Cassandra Morris “I have never been able to analyze the qualities that the audience contributes to a performance. The most important I think, are sympathy, open-mindedness, expectancy, faith, and a certain support to your effort. I know that my career could not have been what it is without all these things, which have come from many people. The knowledge of the feelings other people have expended on me has kept me going when times were hard. That knowledge has been a responsibility, a challenge, and an inspiration. It has been the path to development and growth.
The faith and confidence of others in me have been like shining, guiding stars” -Marian Anderson (Harter).
Who was Marian Anderson? Marian Anderson was an African American operatic singer. She broke through barriers of racism and achieved recognition for making it to the top of her profession (Robinson).
She was the first credited with becoming internationally acclaimed, and breaking the glass ceiling of race (Harter).
Morris 2 Marian Anderson was born on February 27, 1897 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, although some records indicate she was born on February 17, 1902.
She lived with her father her sold coal and ice, and her mother who was a former school teacher (Robinson).
Marian joined the junior choir at the Union Baptist church when she was six. She was believed to have a remarkable voice classified as a contralto, which meant she could sing parts from tenor to soprano. The Union Baptist church helped Marian by a benefit concert to raise money for singing lessons. Their fliers had a picture of her on it reading: “Come and here the baby contralto, ten years old” (skopitz).
... This concert drew over 75,000 people. In 1942, Marian Anderson established the Marian Anderson Award for talented young singers. Among the recipients ... Harlem Renaissance The Centurys Contralto Marian Anderson, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A variety of sources ... mother Anna was a former teacher. Marian had two younger sisters, Alice and Ethel. Andersons early schooling was completed at the ...
Marian’s father passed away in 1910.
She and her mother had to work at menial jobs to get by. Marian’s high school education was delayed, which began at William Penn High School. Later in 1918, She attended South Philadelphia High School for girls (Robinson).
She graduated from this high school in 1921. Marian was confident she would pursue a career with her remarkable voice with the help of her family and friends (Shaw).
During high school Marian had participated in singing with the African American Philadelphia Choral Society.
After Morris 3 graduating, Marian applied to a Philadelphia music school. The admission clerk treated her rudely before denying her application. She took a different route and found private lessons with two female profession singers for a few years (Skopitz).
When Marian was nineteen she started studying with Giuseppe Boghetti. He helped her expand her repertoire and guided her in the technical aspects of voice training (Shaw).
Marian’s first recital was at New York’s Town Hall in 1924.
This almost ended her career because it showed her dislike singing foreign languages. She had some trouble getting her career going again in the states, so she traveled to London, Germany, and Finland and met composer Jean Sibelius, who dedicated his “Solitude” to her (Harter).
In 1925 Boghetti helped Marian enter a concert with three hundred contestants competing for the Lewiston Stadium concert award. This was an opportunity to perform with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Marian won the contest and performed with the orchestra on August 26, 1925.
She received a Rosen wald Foundation Fellowship and visited England and Germany, where she studied “Leider,” German songs, which became apart of her repertoire (Pagewise).
Morris 4 Marian debuted at the Carnegie Hall in 1929, then a concert tour in Europe. She returned to the U. S in 1935 to perform a recital, she found a new business partner named Sol Huron. She became one of the top box office draws in the country (Robinson).
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She also appeared at the Mozart Festival in Australia in 1935.
She was requested “Ave Maria” by the archbishop of Salzburg (Harter).
In 1939 Marian was to perform at the Constitutional Hall owned by The Daughters of The American Revolution (DAR).
The Dar refused Marian to perform because she was black. Not only did this tick Marian and a great majority of the public, but First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was very concerned. Her and other prominent women resigned from the organization. Instead Eleanor and Secretary of The Interior, Harold Inkles, invited Marian to perform in a free public concert that was held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Seventy-five thousand people showed up to witness Marian’s performance (Robinson).
Marian Anderson on prejudice: “Sometimes, it’s like a hair across your cheek. You can’t see it, you can’t find it with your fingers, but you keep brushing at it because the feel of it is irritating” (Robinson).
Morris 5 Marian was awarded the Spin garn Medal from the NAACP, presented to her by Eleanor Roosevelt. Four years later she was invited to perform at the DAR, she accepted. In 1955 she became the first African American to join New York’s Metropolitan Opera Company.
She wrote her own autobiography, titled My Lord, What a Morning, in 1956. She was named a delegate to the United Nations and received a metal of freedom, a congressional gold metal, the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award, A U. N peace prize, and a grammy Lifetime Achievement award (Robinson).
She retired in 1955 after singing a farewell concert that was conducted by her nephew James Priest.
Marian died on congestive heart failure in April of 1993, she was 96 years old. A memorial service was held for her at the Carnegie Hall in June, two admirers attended (Harter).
“There are many persons ready to do what it right because in their hearts they know it is right. But they hesitate, waiting for the other fellow to make the first move-and he, in turn, waits for you. The minute a person whose word means a great deal dares to take the open-hearted and courageous way, many others follow.
Jane Austen's novel Sense and Sensibility is a remarkable and memorable novel. Austen probably named her novel this because of her two main characters, Eleanor and Marianne. Eleanor is the oldest of the two girls, and has a great deal of common sense. Unlike Marianne, she controls her emotions with good sense and discretion. Eleanor's sense made her the person everyone could depend on. Marianne, ...
Not everyone can be turned Morris 6 aside from meanness and hatred, but the great majority of Americans is heading in that direction. I have a great belief in the future of my people and my country” -Marian Anderson (Pagewise).