Mary Anderson

Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson was born on February 27, 1897 in Philadelphia. Marian Anderson grew up in a low class family. In 1955, Marian Anderson became the first African American singer to perform as a member of the metropolitan opera in New York city. In Early Years of her life, Anderson had a nickname, “Baby Contralto,” because of her singing. At age 12, her father died which led to her mother having to raise three girls by herself. Although Anderson’s dad died, her musical ambitions still remained strong. She was still committed to church choirs and rehearsed all singing positions with her family. Anderson’s family realized how talented she was which led to her family raising about $600 for her to train under Giuseppe Boghetti. In this particular era, Boghetti was a well respected voice trainer and teacher, so this was a huge deal for Marian Anderson. 

As the two years went by for Marian Anderson of studying under the well respected voice trainer and teacher, Anderson won the chance to sing at a large stadium in New York. Soon after this performance, other opportunities began to roll in. By the 1930s, Anderson’s voice began to become to popular through the nation and semi internationally. She was even invited by President Roosevelt and his wife to perform at the White House. Although Anderson was extremely successful, she still had to face many obstacles such as the racial divide that was continuous in the US around this time. By 1961, Anderson’s career had begun to develop more and more as she was continuously invited by the President to perform the national anthem at the inauguration. She was then rewarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1965, Anderson retired officially from performing. She was awarded in 1991 with a Grammy award for Lifetime achievement. Some of Marian Anderson’s famous songs are: “Ave Maria,” “My Country Tis Thee,” “Nobody Knows the Trouble I See,” “Trampin’,”De Gospel Train,” etc.


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