Inspiring Women Winter 2018

You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

December <strong>2018</strong>, Volume 2, Issue 4<br />

September 2017, Volume 1, Issue 3<br />




An Introduction to Our <strong>Women</strong> in Music 4<br />

England: A Lover of Mozart ! 5<br />

Germany: Music for Children 8<br />

Switzerland: Reviving Peggy Lee’s Songs? 12<br />

Germany: In the Piano Zone 17<br />

USA: 40 Years At The Opera! 24<br />

Norway: A Note From Oslo via Hawaii 28<br />

Austria: Singing For the Lord 32<br />

Switzerland: A Life of Jazz 35<br />

Germany: A Musical Teacher 37<br />

Spain: The “Singing Housing Specialist” 41<br />

USA: Dreaming of Accordions 44<br />

Germany: Musical Theater Brought to Life 51<br />

Belgium: Regular Season Tickets 55<br />

France: Vocal Jazz Parisian Style 58<br />

Germany: Life As a Viola Player 62<br />

Luxembourg: Bringing Joy Through Singing 65<br />

Switzerland: In the Opera Chorus 67<br />


Around The FAWCO World In 62 Images 11<br />

What to look for in an Expat Tax Preparer 16<br />

A Club Inspires: AWC Gothenburg 21<br />

Just For Fun 1 31<br />

A Letter to My Master Teacher 48<br />

Just For Fun 2 61<br />


Inspiration From the Editor 3<br />

From The Cover Coordinator 3<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> You 70<br />

Magazine Feedback 70<br />

More About This Issue 71<br />

Coming Next Spring 72<br />

Janet Darrow p. 10<br />

Esquire Group p. 16<br />


London & Capital p. 27<br />

The Pajama Company p. 30<br />

Want to take your business worldwide? Consider advertising in <strong>Inspiring</strong><br />

<strong>Women</strong>. Contact Elsie Bose at advertising@fawco.org to get started.<br />

FAWCO would like to thank Esquire Group, our Premier Sponsor, for<br />

underwriting <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>. In this issue we have an interesting<br />

column on page 16, written by Esquire Group’s president,<br />

Jimmy Sexton.<br />


Inspiration From the Editor<br />

So here we are<br />

almost at the end of<br />

another packed<br />

FAWCO year! Time<br />

has certainly flown<br />

again in <strong>2018</strong>; I<br />

hope it’s been a<br />

good year for you.<br />

This issue of <strong>Inspiring</strong><br />

<strong>Women</strong> is filled with<br />

musical notes. We<br />

have the written<br />

musical stories of<br />

the profilees for you to read, but we are thrilled<br />

to be able to offer you the chance to hear<br />

their actual music, too. Just click the button to<br />

hear them perform!<br />

We also have one profilee whose inclusion<br />

may puzzle you. So why in a magazine called<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> do we have a male musician<br />

profiled? Today Rick is the 1st VP of FAUSA<br />

(FAWCO’s sister organization in the US), but he<br />

first got involved when his husband got<br />

transferred to Switzerland. Rick persuaded the<br />

ladies of AWC Zurich to change their rules, he<br />

joined them, and the rest is history.<br />

the bus’ during the pre-Mumbai conference<br />

tour we did in India in 2016! He is incredibly<br />

musical, so I felt this was a great chance for<br />

you all to get to know him. He is certainly<br />

inspiring and works hard within the FAWCO<br />

world, too.<br />

I encourage you to send in your photos for our<br />

FAWCO 62 collection. We really would like to<br />

feature every single FAWCO club but can only<br />

do it with your help. Turn to p.11 for the details.<br />

All that remains now is for me to wish you all<br />

happy holidays and tell you how much I am<br />

looking forward to seeing many of you at the<br />

conference in Edinburgh in March.<br />

Best wishes, Liz x<br />

Liz MacNiven,<br />

inspiringwomen.editor@fawco.org<br />

I first met Rick at the Frankfurt IM where he was<br />

Mr. Video for the conference and then some<br />

of us got to know him better in ‘the back of<br />

From The Cover Coordinator<br />

The cover photo for this issue is an image of Christine Federspiel-Huvos<br />

who is a singer and member of AWC Zurich, Switzerland. She attracts<br />

diverse audiences with her original interpretation of French chansons,<br />

American musicals, jazz and blues. The cover shows her in Zürich during<br />

her last gala concert which benefitted the Lebensfreude Foundation.<br />

If you have a photo that you would like to see on a future cover of<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>, you can reach me, Marie-Bénédicte Luxem, at<br />

inspiringwomen.cover@fawco.org. There are full details of photo<br />

requirements on page 72 of this magazine. Please note: we can only<br />

accept portrait orientation images.<br />


“Music does a lot of things for a lot of people. It's transporting, for sure. It<br />

can take you right back, years back, to the very moment certain things<br />

happened in your life. It's uplifting, it's encouraging, it's strengthening.”<br />

Aretha Franklin<br />

Music has its own language of symbols and numbers. A piece of music<br />

achieves greatness when it disrupts time. Who are those that dare to<br />

create the language, the sound, the movement that enters the most<br />

private parts of an individual’s soul? Is music their passion or salvation?<br />

They say those with musical talent have a gift - how did they receive it?<br />

The people profiled in this issue have astonishing talent; they share with us<br />

their stories of how they came to music (or how it came to them). How<br />

do they find the balance between containing and controlling their talent<br />

and stoking the fire of creativity to achieve artistic success? Some of our<br />

profilees have chosen to guide others in maximizing their musical abilities;<br />

they share with us their stories of what musical success means to them.<br />

This issue also includes our first profilee for whom the “<strong>Inspiring</strong>” in our<br />

magazine’s title could be considered a verb and not an adjective…we<br />

are so excited to be able to include this person!<br />

And if that isn’t enough, for your enjoyment we have added SOUND as a<br />

new element to your online experience! Just look for the boxes, click and<br />

enjoy as our profilees perform their music!<br />

Finally, I wish all of you a very happy holiday<br />

season!<br />

Elsie Bose<br />


England: A Lover of Mozart!<br />


Chilterns American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club<br />

International, England<br />

From: Little Meadows, Pennsylvania<br />

Lives: Amersham, Buckinghamshire, UK<br />

love affair with performing.<br />

I grew up in Little Meadows, Pennsylvania, which is a<br />

beautiful, very rural area, and my family can’t seem<br />

to remember a time when I wasn’t singing<br />

constantly! I was in my first opera when I was just four<br />

years old. I was a gorgeous little gingerbread cookie<br />

in the children’s chorus of Hansel and Gretel. I loved<br />

everything about it – the hair, makeup, costumes,<br />

music, the lights, the stage! It was the start of my<br />

I sang and performed my entire way through school and went to university at Westminster Choir<br />

College, a world renowned music conservatory in Princeton, NJ. I was surrounded by some of<br />

the most talented and inspirational students and faculty in the world, and here developed my<br />

love and understanding of everything to do with music, singing and performing. In addition to<br />

performing in many operas and song recitals, our university choir regularly went on tour and<br />

recorded albums. We performed many times a year with the NY Philharmonic, Philadelphia<br />

Orchestra and the NJ Symphony at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, etc. under the batons of<br />

some of the world’s most respected conductors.<br />

These experiences completely shaped my<br />

musical life and gave me the most wonderful<br />

artistic foundation that I will carry forever.<br />

Between my 3 rd and 4 th years of university I had<br />

the privilege to live in London for a year and it<br />

was love at first sight! I decided to do my<br />

masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music<br />

in London. My time at the Royal Academy was<br />

absolutely magical and I specialized in art song<br />

and languages. I completely fell in love with the<br />

beauty of the melodies and poetry in French<br />

and German songs. I loved performing song<br />

recitals and oratorios and sang in my last opera<br />

as the High Priestess in Aida when I was six<br />

months pregnant with my daughter. I am a busy<br />

single mom to Violetta and Viktor and I love to<br />

sing for local charity galas and events, and the<br />

parent/teacher choirs at my children’s schools.<br />

My greatest joy is sharing music with my children<br />

and passing on my love and knowledge of<br />

music to them. Our house is always full of music<br />

that we are either making or listening to (singing,<br />


piano, violin, trumpet and guitar) and<br />

I hope I can help my children to<br />

develop their musical interests so that<br />

they can carry it with them for the<br />

rest of their lives! Music is the gift that<br />

keeps on giving!<br />

My earliest musical influence was my<br />

music teacher at school, Susan Lewis.<br />

She is one of the most special people<br />

that I have ever met and remains my<br />

dear friend to this day. She was the<br />

most amazing teacher and support!<br />

At Westminster Choir College, I had<br />

the pleasure of singing under Joseph<br />

Flummerfelt who makes magic<br />

happen with his conducting. He has<br />

a very special, soft artistry that brings the most beautiful sounds and musical moments out of his<br />

singers. The lessons he taught me about music while singing in his choir are endless.<br />

My relationship with music is ever-changing and<br />

evolving as I journey through life... I will always<br />

have my favourite memories and pieces of<br />

music but, there is always room for more. I have<br />

discovered that I can’t live without music and<br />

that singing makes my heart happy. And<br />

listening and watching my children sing and<br />

perform music is my favourite thing in the entire<br />

world. Music transcends our differences and<br />

brings us together.<br />

I would like to think that I have brought joy to<br />

many people through my singing. Whether it be<br />

in a concert hall or at a wedding or funeral, I<br />

hope that I have touched the hearts of those<br />

listening. That makes me proud.<br />

When I am listening to music I feel it is pure<br />

happiness and when I am performing, it is the<br />

most wonderful feeling of excitement mixed<br />

with a bit of worry that everything will go as it is<br />

supposed to! But, when I see that the audience<br />

is feeling comfortable and enjoying themselves,<br />

I can relax into my performance. And the<br />

applause? That feeling is indescribable….<br />

Pieces of music I recommend/love<br />

Strauss’s Four Last Songs for their divine<br />

beauty of music and poetry.<br />

Brahm’s Requiem for the stunning melodies and memories that I have of singing it.<br />

Everything musical theatre for the joy and happiness that it brings, especially my favourite<br />

Les Miserables.<br />

The “Intermezzo” from Cavalleria Rusticana because it pulls at my heart strings!<br />

And anything that my daughter sings while accompanying herself on the piano.... that is<br />

my very favourite. Sheer bliss!<br />



Tell us something interesting about yourself<br />

that not many people know. I have a secret<br />

love of pop music, thanks to my daughter!<br />

If you could perform with, or meet, one<br />

musician/group of musicians, dead or alive,<br />

who would it/they be and what music would<br />

you like to play and why? Mozart, Mozart,<br />

Mozart! I would love to be surrounded with<br />

his genius even for a moment. I would sing<br />

Mozart’s famous aria “Porgi Amor” from his<br />

opera The Marriage of Figaro and he would<br />

accompany me. OMG!!<br />

What are some of the things you would love to<br />

get better at and things you would like to stop<br />

doing? I would love to play the piano and<br />

tennis better and I would like to stop being so<br />

busy. I would like more moments to just be.<br />

Complete this sentence: The most unusual<br />

place I have performed or listened to music<br />

was… the most unusual (and my favourite)<br />

place that I have performed was a little town<br />

square on a mountain in the Cinque Terre<br />

region in Italy. Overlooking the sea and the<br />

mountains, it was simply the most beautiful<br />

place to sing.<br />

If we looked in your purse/wallet/pocket what<br />

three things would we find that would tell us<br />

something about you? Lots of different pink<br />

lipstick, my very full diary and my sunglasses.<br />

“Being a<br />

musician, it’s my<br />

job to be real<br />

and true to<br />

whoever I am.<br />

Hopefully that<br />

will inspire other<br />

people. I hope<br />

it inspires<br />

people to be<br />

themselves and<br />

be comfortable<br />

in their own<br />

skin.” – YUNA<br />


Germany: Music for Children<br />


Augsburg International <strong>Women</strong>’s Association<br />

From: Amsterdam, Netherlands<br />

Lives: Augsburg, Germany<br />

I was born in Amsterdam and grew up in the east of<br />

Holland. My mother was a good amateur pianist and<br />

accompanied my sister and me when singing children’s<br />

songs. So I guess I could sing before I could speak. I had<br />

my first piano lessons at age nine. I got to know a lot of<br />

piano repertoire through my mother, who played many<br />

of the great Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann and<br />

Debussy pieces.<br />

After finishing school, I started to study piano, chamber<br />

music and vocal accompaniment in Holland and<br />

attended master classes in England.<br />

I left Holland at age 27 to live and work in Vienna.<br />

Meanwhile, I had specialized in the field of physical<br />

Photographer: Ran Keren<br />

problems and worked as a music physiology teacher at<br />

the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna from<br />

1985-2014. One of the most important methods I had been trained in was the Feldenkrais<br />

method – “awareness through movement.” Not only did the Feldenkrais method offer the ideal<br />

tools to help music students prevent injuries, it also meant a real breakthrough for my personal<br />

pianistic development. I travelled throughout Europe, the United States and Asian countries<br />

giving concerts, lectures and workshops. Since autumn 2014 I have lived in Augsburg, Germany<br />

with my second husband, the cellist Hartmut Tröndle. I work freelance, giving concerts with<br />

various chamber music groups and singers as well as teaching.<br />

Today I am preparing for concerts<br />

with my piano quartet “SuedamA”<br />

and will start a new project this winter<br />

with children’s concerts. I have a<br />

dream to open the road to music for<br />

children through small concerts in a<br />

familiar atmosphere, accompanied<br />

by storytelling and projecting<br />

illustrations from old fairy-tale books.<br />

At the same time as working on the<br />

children’s concerts, I work for “Live<br />

Music Now,” a foundation initiated<br />

by Lord Yehudi Menuhin. The idea is<br />

that hand-picked young musicians<br />

go to play for people who can’t get<br />

to any live concerts by themselves.<br />


I credit my parents for giving me the chance to get in touch with great classical music at a very<br />

early age. They took me to concerts, and there was also a lot of active music making in our<br />

home. My mother played the piano, my father the flute and the cello. At age eight, I got to<br />

know Schubert’s <strong>Winter</strong>reise, a piece of music that touched me deeply and had a great<br />

influence in my musical development. Later, teachers, musical partners, concerts and CDs<br />

became the sources of inspiration.<br />

Through music I have gotten to know wonderful people and formed great friendships that have<br />

lasted a lifetime (I am 61 now).<br />

I think that to live with the masterpieces of art, to dive deeply into the spirit of the genius<br />

composers, who – in my opinion– have given a heavenly message to mankind, is an<br />

incomparable gift that I’m grateful for every day.<br />

Even later in life, I have discovered that with a deep<br />

commitment to music, one can still have great breakthroughs.<br />

It’s amazing. As a musician, I am grateful for every little step<br />

forward I am able to take. I rarely allow myself the opportunity<br />

to stand still and enjoy a success or spend time looking<br />

backward. When I am listening to music, my feelings vary from<br />

boredom to anger to absolute admiration, joy and deep<br />

attachment. Then while I am performing, my feelings vary from<br />

anxiety, insecurity, and despair to joy, conviction, devotion,<br />

happiness and euphoria.<br />


If you could perform with, or meet, one<br />

musician/group of musicians, dead or alive,<br />

who would it/they be and what music would<br />

you like to play and why?<br />

I would love to meet Johannes Brahms and<br />

walk with him around the Altausseer See in the<br />

Austrian Salzkammergut.<br />

Complete this sentence: The most unusual<br />

place I have performed or listened to music<br />

was… What was good and/or less good about<br />

it as a venue? ….an open air concert during<br />

the solar eclipse in the Austrian mountains. We<br />

performed a symphonic poem by Liszt. It got<br />

dark, the birds stopped singing. It was magical.<br />

What are some of the things you would love to<br />

get better at and things you would like to stop<br />

doing? I would love to improve in everything<br />

that means something to me (cooking,<br />

gardening, being a good wife, a good<br />

daughter or a good grandmother, a devoted<br />

friend and a trillion other things) and to stop<br />

wasting time.<br />

9<br />

Photographer Christina Bleier


The world can seem like a very big place but for FAWCO women it is represented<br />

by 62 different cities or areas. We would like to collect a photo, taken by you,<br />

which in your mind best depicts the city or area you live in. It can be a place, a<br />

landscape, a person, a cultural highlight, a culinary speciality, but most importantly<br />

when you see it, it evokes your home away from home.<br />

The <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> team is creating a special photographic collection of images<br />

of our 62 FAWCO clubs, each image representing the diversity of our geographical<br />

homes. The collection will be used in the IW magazine and, we hope, exhibited in<br />

Edinburgh during our next FAWCO international conference.<br />

So all you need to do is send in<br />

your good quality JPEG images.<br />

Please feel free to add some<br />

creativity, your own artistic and<br />

personal touch. Images can be<br />

color or black & white and we<br />

need them no later than<br />

December 31 st , <strong>2018</strong>. Send to<br />

Marie-Bénédicte Luxem at<br />

inspiringwomen.cover@fawco.org<br />


Switzerland: Reviving Peggy Lee’s Songs?<br />


American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of Zurich, Switzerland<br />

From: Rochester, Minnesota<br />

Lives: Zurich, Switzerland<br />

I was born in Rochester, Minnesota, on November 30,<br />

1957. My father had gotten his first really big job there as<br />

a construction engineer, after having obtained his<br />

degree from Columbia University, and contributed to<br />

building IBM’s “Big Blue” in Rochester, Minnesota. My<br />

parents, both originally Austro-Hungarians, were so happy<br />

to have been welcomed by the Land of the Free after<br />

difficult times on the Old Continent. They wanted both<br />

their children to be Americans; however, soon after my<br />

birth, my father was offered a job by IBM in Vienna,<br />

Austria, where my brother was born.<br />

In the early sixties, my father was moved to Paris which is<br />

where we spent our childhood, enjoying every minute of<br />

it. Paris in the sixties was very glamourous and it was also<br />

the city of French chansons. That is how I began to sing Edith Piaf, Yves Montand, Gilbert<br />

Bécaud, Barbara…relentlessly… in our living room! This did not stop me from learning all the songs<br />

from My Fair Ladys, among other musicals. I knew them all by heart by the time I was ten.<br />

In the early 70s we moved back to Vienna where my brother and I attended the Lycée Français<br />

de Vienne, thereby not losing our French. It was during these years that I discovered my passion<br />

for opera and started to train as an opera singer, taking lessons from the same teacher as Edita<br />

Gruberova. Nonetheless, I was told by an opera singer that my voice was simply not “strong”<br />

enough to sing at the Vienna State Opera. This was a huge disappointment for me, and after<br />

that, I decided to forget about music and dedicate my energy to other things… or so I thought!<br />

Once I left home, I studied in<br />

Paris and got training as a<br />

singer from a Parisian voice<br />

coach who had been<br />

recommended to me by some<br />

of my Viennese friends.<br />

However, at this stage, I was<br />

no longer interested in<br />

becoming an opera singer; I<br />

wanted to sing French<br />

chansons – and so I did!<br />

After my studies, I ended up<br />

working as an ESL and German<br />

teacher at the American<br />

International School in Vienna,<br />

but I never stopped singing in<br />


my spare time. I performed several times on Austrian<br />

television in the late 80s and early 90s, including singing<br />

French and German ballads that I had composed and<br />

written together with my mother.<br />

After my divorce from my high school sweetheart in<br />

1999, I obtained my TESL Certificate (Teaching English as<br />

a Second Language), and moved on to teach French<br />

and German in Kuwait, Frankfurt and finally in Zurich.<br />

I met my husband, Dr. med. Urs Federspiel, in Zurich, at<br />

the movies! Urs heard me sing at a charity concert for<br />

the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund a few months later<br />

at a café. After that, our fate was happily sealed. Since<br />

our marriage in 2006, I have been working for my<br />

husband’s medical practice as a secretary. But I never<br />

stopped singing and have recorded four albums (in a<br />

private capacity) in the past twelve years, thanks to my<br />

husband’s support. Last year, on the occasion of my Big<br />

Birthday, I sang with Pepe Lienhard’s Big Band at the<br />

Volkshaus in Zurich. We had a full house with over 1,000<br />

attendees and all proceeds went to the charity<br />


I am presently working on the completion of two bilingual song albums (French/English) in which<br />

I cover songs of well-known artists, as well as some of my own pieces. I would like to continue<br />

working on projects together with big bands like Pepe Lienhard’s Big Band in Switzerland and in<br />

the US as well as continuing to write my own songs, and exploring new musical directions. I find<br />

that particularly exciting and enriching! I particularly love working on projects that combine<br />

different musical styles, for instance classical music and rock – like Freddy Mercury did with<br />

Montserrat Caballé when they sang Barcelona. In addition, I have accepted several offers to<br />

perform for audiences in local hotels and museums in Zurich this year and in 2019. In other<br />

words, it doesn’t have to be the Volkshaus every night…<br />

I think that being able to make people happy by singing for them is a very special gift, and I am<br />

very grateful for it. So, as long as I can, I will sing. But at the risk of sounding naïve, I have been<br />

surprised by the competitiveness and the harshness of the world of music and have never quite<br />

gotten used to it. That is why I gave up my dreams of becoming a “star” quite early in life. The<br />

price was simply too high…<br />

13<br />

But there is not just one<br />

world of music, and that is<br />

what I thrive on; making<br />

people happy by singing<br />

for them is my world of<br />

music! Music has saved me<br />

from depression and<br />

sadness throughout my life.<br />

Concerts for smaller and<br />

larger audiences have<br />

proven to be some of the<br />

most rewarding<br />

experiences in my life. It is a<br />

wonderful feeling to give so<br />

much pleasure to your<br />

audience simply by singing

14<br />

a beautiful tune with passion and<br />

exactitude! I love the reactions I<br />

get when I sing. More<br />

importantly, I love discovering<br />

new kinds of music and new<br />

artists in every field. It is a<br />

wonderful and rewarding<br />

adventure every time…<br />

The benefits of this great passion<br />

of mine have been more than<br />

positive: I generally sing for good<br />

causes, and have also<br />

successfully gotten my friends<br />

involved in theater and music by<br />

founding amateur theatrical<br />

groups at the schools where I<br />

have taught, and within the<br />

international clubs I have been<br />

involved in. I believe my strength lies in my musicality and my ability to mix styles and perform in<br />

different languages; these have given me the chance to create entirely new versions of “oldies.”<br />

And, although I am well aware of the fact that I am no longer “young,” I feel young at heart and<br />

believe I still have a long way to go when it comes to my creativity!<br />

When I listen to my favorite music, I disappear into a world of my own. I can cry to the sound of<br />

blues – a song can indeed make you feel your vulnerable spots - but I also find myself singing<br />

along to my favorite chansons. I can also voice and vent my feelings of disappointment with<br />

some of my favorite rock idols. In any case, listening to music is always a very intense voyage<br />

and a particularly emotional experience for me. Someone once said to me that listening to<br />

music should be like a ceremony celebrating the synchronicity of the sound and your emotions. I<br />

thought that was very well put.<br />

Performing is another story altogether, although this, too, is an escape from reality into a world of<br />

my own. At the same time, when I am singing,<br />

whether I am recording or on stage, I am a<br />

different persona entirely. I am actually quite<br />

shy so it is like a metamorphosis. And, of course,<br />

there is this catharsis when the public responds<br />

to you; all of a sudden, you have the sense of<br />

togetherness with the audience. Someone<br />

once said about me: “This little woman, who<br />

looked so harmless five minutes ago, got on<br />

stage and all of a sudden, it was like there was<br />

an explosion. She was someone else and we<br />

listened in awe!”<br />

Pieces of music I recommend/love<br />

Georges Bizet’s Carmen, is an opera I<br />

never tire of listening to, and “L’amour est<br />

un oiseau de rebelle” is an aria I would<br />

love to perform in French and in Spanish,<br />

combining different styles, à la Freddy<br />

Mercury.<br />

I would very much like to work on a<br />

modern arrangement of Beethoven’s Ode<br />

to Joy and re-write the lyrics as a kind of

ode to humanity and tolerance, in four or five languages. It could be performed together<br />

with a flash mob of dancers, rappers, singers and musicians of different cultures, filmed in<br />

front of all kinds of different places of faith with protagonists from all those different worlds.<br />

We would finish the piece by all holding our hands up in an act of solidarity. I think<br />

Jerusalem would provide an excellent “backdrop” since so many religions are represented<br />

there. I believe it could also be done as a You Tube clip, using a few technical tricks… I<br />

really liked Nürnberg’s flashmob’s rendition of Ode an die Freude in 2014, but I thought one<br />

could do so much more with this beautiful piece of music. The Ode to Joy is a piece of<br />

music that I never tire of listening to, as it fills my heart with optimism.<br />

Another favorite of mine is Charles Aznavour’s song “La Bohème.” That song touches every<br />

chord in my body. It is about youth and freedom and all the things I believe in. And<br />

Aznavour was my hero in every way!<br />

As already mentioned, Freddy Mercury and Montserrat<br />

Caballé performing “Barcelona” together 30 years ago is<br />

another inspiration for me in every way. I would very much<br />

like to perform a duet with an opera singer.<br />

And, last but not least, I love Peggy Lee’s songs, and hope<br />

to get a chance to revive them within the next few years.<br />


Tell us something interesting about yourself<br />

that not many people know. I am the coauthor<br />

and photographer of the book Stalin<br />

im Kopf, which was first published in May 1993.<br />

My ex -husband and I interviewed survivors of<br />

the dictatorship.<br />

Also in the 80s as part of my job, I got to<br />

interview Greek singer, Nana Mouskouri, on<br />

the occasion of one of her concerts in Vienna.<br />

If you could perform with a musician, who<br />

would it be? I would love to perform together<br />

with Quincy Jones who I greatly admire and<br />

respect. My dream would be to perform<br />

chansons, jazz, swing and blues - and perhaps<br />

even some of my own songs - for a charity<br />

concert. Perhaps even together with his<br />

greatest fan, Swiss band leader Pepe Lienhard<br />

and his Big Band. And since dreaming is not<br />

forbidden, I am still hopeful that this dream will<br />

come true some day, somehow, somewhere!<br />

The most unusual place I have performed in<br />

was: the Volkshaus in Zurich last year, but<br />

mainly because of the circumstances: It was<br />

indeed a huge challenge for me to sing there<br />

on my 60th Birthday and our wedding<br />

anniversary. We had a full house with over<br />

1,000 attendees and people came to listen to<br />

me from all over the world. The venue was<br />

really incredible, but I only got a soundcheck<br />

instead of a proper rehearsal, which was not<br />

easy for me. But I survived…and it was an<br />

incredible learning experience, from start to<br />

finish. Truly unforgettable!<br />

What are some of the things you would love to<br />

get better at/things you would like to stop<br />

doing? I would like to be more organized and<br />

more disciplined. From an artist’s point of view,<br />

I would very much like to continue learning<br />

how to sing styles that do not come easily to<br />

me, not just the “in-bred” chansons that<br />

everybody seems to want to hear me sing.<br />

I would like to stop letting negative people<br />

influence me in any way, stop letting negative<br />

criticism get me depressed, and concentrate<br />

on all the positive energies I receive.<br />

Then on a very superficial note, I would like to<br />

stop being so gourmande, as I know I would<br />

look much prettier if I finally got to lose those<br />

dreadful three kilos!<br />


What to look for in an Expat Tax Preparer?<br />

Tax season is just around the corner! You are pumped! And, like many American expats,<br />

you probably have your taxes prepared by a professional, or have at least considered<br />

having them prepared by a professional. When looking for someone to prepare your<br />

taxes, remember that not all tax preparers are created equal. Here is my list of 10 things<br />

you should consider when hiring an expat tax preparer:<br />

1. Are they specialized? Like any other professional service, tax is specialized.<br />

Expat tax preparation is not straightforward--you need a specialist. Look for tax<br />

preparers that prepare only expat returns.<br />

2. What is their experience and qualifications? Do they have any type of license?<br />

How long have they been preparing expat tax returns? Have they prepared returns<br />

similar to yours? You don’t want a tax preparer learning on the job on your return.<br />

3. What is their review procedure? You’d be surprised how many tax preparation<br />

firms don’t review thoroughly, or at all. We are all human and make mistakes. It<br />

would be a shame to have you return audited because your preparer accidently entered a number wrong;<br />

something that likely would have been caught in review.<br />

4. Do they have a PTIN? PTIN stands for Preparer Tax Identification Number. Anyone preparing or assisting<br />

with the preparation of a tax return for compensation is required by law to have one. No PTIN? Don’t hire<br />

them.<br />

5. Are they familiar with how the U.S. tax system interacts with the tax system of your country of<br />

residence? It will reduce the risk of mistakes, and save time and money, if the preparer already knows the<br />

intricacies how the U.S. tax system interacts with the tax system of your country of residence; including<br />

applicable tax treaties and totalization agreements.<br />

6. Do they speak the local language? It will make life easier if the preparer speaks the local language. This<br />

way they won’t need help translating your bank or income statements, local tax returns, and the like.<br />

7. Does the firm use in-house employees or contractors? You want a firm that only uses full-time in-house<br />

employees as they will likely have been fully vetted and trained by the firm, be available throughout the year,<br />

and be available to prepare your return the following year. Many firms use contractors and seasonal<br />

employees during tax season, which leads to compromised quality.<br />

8. What do they charge? Some preparers charge a flat fee, some charge hourly, or a combination. Make sure<br />

there is transparency when it comes to fees. Remember, you get what you pay for. The better the firm and the<br />

more qualified the preparer, the more you will pay. You likely won’t get a quality return for a few hundred<br />

bucks.<br />

9. What security measures do they take? Security is crucial. Make sure the preparer uses appropriate<br />

security measures; i.e. secure client portal, encrypted email, password protection.<br />

10. How long have they been in business? You don’t generally want to hire a brand new firm as they likely<br />

don’t have their business systems and process all worked out yet.<br />

I hope you find this information helpful when evaluating expat tax preparers! Good luck!<br />

Jimmy Sexton, LL.M., is an expert in the field of international taxation, with an<br />

emphasis on expat issues. He has presented to American expats at groups<br />

that include American women’s clubs throughout Europe and is a soughtafter<br />

expert for several news organizations, including CNN and the<br />

Washington Post. He is the President of Esquire Group, an international tax<br />

preparation firm and Premier Sponsor of <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> Magazine.<br />


Germany: In the Piano Zone<br />


American International <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of<br />

Cologne<br />

From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania & New York City<br />

Lives: Outside Cologne, Germany<br />

I grew up in Pittsburgh. My father, Bob<br />

Rawsthorne, a jazz drummer, was the featured<br />

percussionist on the Mister Rogers Neighborhood<br />

program. Most kids in our community played hide<br />

and seek, my sister and I played “sound-check.”<br />

Photographer: Julia Goldsby<br />

My first job as a pianist was at the age of<br />

eighteen, working in a bar on Nantucket called<br />

The Club Car. A lecherous nightclub manager<br />

hired me to play five nights a week for fifty bucks<br />

a night. I only knew ten songs, and nine of them<br />

were Bach. I dragged music books with me to the<br />

gig. I was clueless, but determined to do a good<br />

job. I played for drunken yachtsmen. One night a<br />

week was gay night. It was 1976, so we brayed<br />

patriotic songs and had a Kate Smith singalong<br />

contest. God Bless America.<br />

In 1980 I moved to New York City and began playing in swanky hotels. My first job in NYC was<br />

playing at Donald Trump’s Grand Hyatt at Grand Central Station. I survived. My skirts were short,<br />

my heels were high, my hair was big. I spent fifteen years honing my craft in Manhattan—and<br />

eventually discovered my pianistic voice. I play gentle music and try to do so with some degree<br />

of elegance.<br />

After dating most of the eligible rhythm section players in New York (there weren’t that many), I<br />

fell in love with bassist John<br />

Goldsby. We married and had a<br />

baby. John was scouted by the<br />

Grammy-winning WDR Big Band<br />

(Cologne) and we decided to<br />

give Europe a chance. After<br />

moving to Germany in 1994, we<br />

had a second child. I stayed<br />

home with the kids for five years,<br />

but kept busy composing and<br />

recording. I landed a cushy job<br />

playing at Schlosshotel Lerbach<br />

(a country castle) in 2000 and<br />

spent the next fourteen years<br />

performing there, every weekend.<br />

I also produced a concert series<br />

and an annual children’s musical.<br />

After the castle closed in 2014, Photographer: Julia Goldsby<br />


I moved to the Excelsior<br />

Hotel Ernst, a five-star<br />

hotel in the heart of<br />

downtown Cologne.<br />

The plan from now on is<br />

to continue doing what<br />

I’m doing—composing<br />

and performing<br />

peaceful music. I’m<br />

also writing a new<br />

book, and starting work<br />

on a podcast that will<br />

launch in 2019.<br />

My first influences were<br />

from my jazz musician<br />

father—Oscar Peterson,<br />

Photographer: Julia Goldsby<br />

Bill Evans, André Previn.<br />

I think on some level I<br />

didn’t want to compete with my dad. Or maybe I was disheartened by the lack of female<br />

instrumentalists in the jazz world—“you can’t be what you can’t see”—so I began finding my<br />

own style, listening to pop music. I loved Carole King because she played the piano and wrote<br />

her own music. I also had strong classical influences, mostly Debussy and Ravel. The world of<br />

instrumental music was very male back then; there were a lot of female singers hanging around,<br />

but I wanted to be a player.<br />

A life in the arts means there are surprises every day. I suppose I am delighted, but not surprised,<br />

by the way music has gotten me to some of world’s most fascinating places. I’m still shocked<br />

that there aren’t more female composers. When I attend the GEMA conference for top<br />

composers every year, I am always surprised by how few women are in attendance—I believe<br />

in Germany the number hovers somewhere around seven percent. That’s crazy.<br />

I think that the world needs live<br />

music! My piano style seems<br />

simple. Fragile, even. But<br />

effortlessness comes at a price.<br />

Unlike many of today’s “internet<br />

musicians,” I’ve spent decades<br />

playing music for a real audience<br />

with real feelings and real-time<br />

responses. Because I am<br />

constantly connecting to listeners,<br />

face to face and heart to heart, I<br />

know a thing or two about how to<br />

create atmosphere. My<br />

recordings are a result of this<br />

expertise. Now, more than ever,<br />

we’re needed. Recorded music<br />

plays an important role in all of our<br />

lives, but live music offers<br />

something more. Because it relies<br />

on the synergy of audience and<br />

musician, it results in compassion<br />

on both sides.<br />


I compose music and I also improvise. When I compose, I always start with a topic, or theme,<br />

and let the music tell me how I feel. I edit constantly until I am satisfied. Composing a piece of<br />

music is very much like writing an essay. Improvising is the musical equivalent of journaling—I start<br />

with a theme and see where it takes me. Yes, it’s a kind of therapy.<br />

I currently compose music and write stories about life as an expat American in Europe. As an<br />

active member of FAWCO, I strive to unite women of all backgrounds with beautiful music and<br />

meaningful words about our shared humanity. My new concert program, Home and Away,<br />

raises awareness and money for the FAWCO Target Program for Education.<br />

As a cultural liaison for FAWCO for the past eight years, my concerts have raised awareness and<br />

over $40,000 for projects targeting Human Rights (Free the Girls/ providing economic<br />

opportunities for survivors of sex-trafficking); Environment (Tabitha Wells for Clean Water,<br />

Cambodia), and, currently, Education (Hope Beyond Displacement/CRP Jordan). My music and<br />

stories motivate other expatriate American women to recognize their strengths while partnering<br />

with their international<br />

communities to lift up<br />

those in need.<br />

I value family. I am the<br />

sixty-year old mother of<br />

two socially-aware young<br />

-adult Americans (Curtis<br />

and Julia), both raised in<br />

Germany, and the wife of<br />

American jazz bassist<br />

John Goldsby. I stand<br />

committed to helping my<br />

sisters around the world. I<br />

believe in the power of<br />

music, love and respect,<br />

and the importance of<br />

education for all of our<br />

girls. I trust that our shared<br />

strength and instinctive<br />

kindness—along with our<br />

willingness to speak up, to listen, and to stay committed to the good fight—will help us overcome<br />

the waves of anger sweeping our global community. My musical and literary program shines<br />

light into dark corners and encourages hope. Am I proud of that? Yes.<br />

When I perform I call it the Piano Zone. I try to stay in the moment, reach into my quiver of songs,<br />

and pull back gently on my repertoire bow. Time is on my side; equilibrium always returns to the<br />

space my music occupies. That’s the best, most miraculous part of playing live—witnessing the<br />

effect music has on my audience, and in turn, what they give back to me. When I’m in the<br />

piano zone, each song, like a vote for kindness or a prayer for peace, carries a fleeting missive of<br />

love to the neighborhood. When we connect with each other, we<br />

are all capable of simple acts of grace. This is my idea of revenge<br />

in a big, violent world. Music. It’s the least, and the most, I can do.<br />

Pieces of music I recommend/love<br />

Ravel‘s “Piano Sonatine.”<br />

Debussy‘s “La fille aux cheveux de lin.”<br />

Anything by Ludovico Einaudi.<br />

Bach’s “Goldberg Variations,” as performed by Glenn Gould.<br />

A recording of my daughter, improvising on the piano when<br />

she doesn’t know I am listening.<br />



Tell us something interesting about yourself that<br />

not many people know. My music is<br />

everywhere—it has been streamed more than<br />

85 million times on Pandora, and is equally<br />

popular on Spotify and Apple Music. My<br />

biggest audience demographic is young<br />

women between the ages of 18 -24. They listen<br />

to my music while studying.<br />

If you could perform with one musician, who<br />

would it be and why? Prince, because he was<br />

the coolest, most talented musician to ever<br />

walk the face of the earth.<br />

The most unusual place I have performed or<br />

listened to music was… I played at<br />

Buckingham Palace. I performed my Home<br />

and Away program there in November 2017<br />

for Prince Charles and 250 of his guests,<br />

celebrating the 20 th Anniversary of In Kind<br />

Direct, an organization that encourages<br />

corporate giving for social good. I got to meet<br />

HRH personally and speak with him. It was<br />

every bit as fabulous as you might imagine.<br />

You can read the full story about the palace<br />

gig here.<br />

I also performed for Chancellor Angela Merkel<br />

in Berlin, but Buckingham was more fun.<br />

Oh yeah, I played a concert for naked people<br />

at the Mediterana Spa here in Germany. Due<br />

to the man-spread of the guy directly in front<br />

of the piano, I kept my eyes on the keys. My<br />

husband tried to get me to play the “Hokey<br />

Pokey,” but I showed restraint.<br />

If we looked in your purse/wallet/pocket what<br />

three things would we find that would tell us<br />

something about you? My Bose noise<br />

cancelling headphones. I use them to cancel<br />

noise as much as I use them for music. Also my<br />

Kindle as I am constantly reading. Writers need<br />

to read, and I do. Then about one billion<br />

photos of my kids, stored on my phone.<br />

What are some of the things you would love to<br />

get better at and things you would like to stop<br />

doing? I would love to get better at saying<br />

“no” to projects that don’t bring me joy. I<br />

would like to sleep more, drink less, and stop<br />

worrying about sagging skin. I would like to<br />

completely eliminate “imposter syndrome”<br />

from my life.<br />

Photo by Paul Burns, Royal Photographer<br />


A Club Inspires: AWC Gothenburg<br />

There are FAWCO clubs of all sizes and shapes across the world. A Club Inspires is a feature<br />

where you will learn more about one of them. This time we are pleased to introduce to you the<br />

American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of Gothenburg, Sweden, from Region 2. Over to their president, Dorothy<br />

Andersson...<br />

The idea to start a club for American women in Gothenburg<br />

was first proposed to the American consul by Karin Lundgren,<br />

Consular Secretary, during the early years of the Second World<br />

War. Although it didn’t happen immediately, in 1947, Vice<br />

Consul Lamar Mulliner became interested and when his sister,<br />

Florence, arrived in February 1948, a group of American women<br />

were invited to the Mulliner home to discuss the possibility of<br />

starting a club. Thus, the American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of<br />

Gothenburg was born.<br />

The first meeting was held at Margaretabergskolan on April 1, in<br />

1948, and there were 18 members attending. Through the years<br />

membership has fluctuated, and the club has survived mainly<br />

due to the American women living here because they are<br />

married to Swedish men.<br />

In 1987, we joined FAWCO, enabling us to have a more active<br />

say on policies and legislation affecting us as Americans abroad. For many years, we have<br />

awarded The Florence Albrechtsson American English Dictionary Award to Swedish students, as<br />

well as hosting a student picnic for American Exchange students in Gothenburg.<br />

For the past 10 years, our club has had our monthly meeting at the Emigranternas Hus (Emigrant<br />

House). The Emigrant House focuses mainly on the topic of migration and is a center for research<br />

and meetings between people. Its aim is to increase knowledge about migration, understanding<br />

and tolerance between different groups and nations.<br />


22<br />

The center is located in the Customs House<br />

near to the harbor. This was where all the<br />

emigrants left from during the great<br />

emigration period between 1850 and 1930.<br />

Every emigrant had to first pass the Customs<br />

House to show their emigrant contract. There<br />

were more than 1 million emigrants that<br />

passed and got their emigrant contracts<br />

issued before they could begin their journey<br />

towards the new country.<br />

The monthly meeting has a theme, and<br />

recently, for example, we have had a guest<br />

speakers who spoke about topics such as<br />

getting a Swedish driver’s license and tax<br />

advice; other times, we have had members do presentations on their hobbies and careers.<br />

Membership in our club is open to American women and women who have strong contacts<br />

with the United States. Our members are mainly Americans; however, we do have several<br />

Swedes who have lived in the United States for a long period of time. We like to think we bring<br />

together American women living in Gothenburg area to gain companionship, stimulate<br />

cultural identity and offer assistance adjusting to living in Sweden.<br />

There are annual elections for our 11 club positions each March. Unfortunately, we have not<br />

had many volunteers who want to be part of the board in recent years - probably because we<br />

are such a small club and many members have already been on the board - so currently some<br />

positions are empty or members are doing more than one position.<br />

AWC Gothenburg annual events:<br />

Valentine’s Day – to mark the occasion, we host an event where we have a craft or make<br />

something: for example, this past February we made chocolate truffles.<br />

Fourth of July picnic – traditionally we get together around the 4 th of July to celebrate. In the<br />

past, we celebrated along with the baseball team called The Gothenburg Sharks. We played<br />

softball with them, and children tried out bee-ball (comparable to T-ball). This past year we had<br />

a day at the beach with children’s crafts and swimming.<br />

Halloween children’s party – this is an annual event and it is our most popular. We host activities<br />

for the children as well as a trick-or-treat walk. This is open to non-members to help promote<br />

membership. This past month, we also had pumpkin carving to tie in with Halloween.<br />

Thanksgiving potluck – this year we are planning to have a family Thanksgiving potluck dinner,<br />

and our members can bring their<br />

spouses and family members.<br />

December Lucia meeting – an annual<br />

meeting that celebrates the Swedish<br />

tradition of St. Lucia and the holiday.<br />

Other club events:<br />

Movie night –we rented a movie<br />

theater salon for members and their<br />

guests with popcorn and soda. This<br />

was a very popular event and we<br />

hope to do it again.<br />

Our 70 th Anniversary – this year our<br />

club turned 70 years old! We<br />

celebrated with a luncheon at a<br />

restaurant by the sea. Members were<br />

invited to tell their favorite memories

of the club. A lot of comments were about the<br />

friendships that have been made due to the<br />

club and the laughter. It was a beautiful day<br />

where we enjoyed each other’s stories and<br />

memories in addition celebrating the history of<br />

the club.<br />

Gothenburg Film Festival - AWC Oslo comes to<br />

visit us for this, and it’s a great opportunity for<br />

the two clubs to get together to talk about the<br />

film festival and have dinner.<br />

US Embassy – we are proud of the fact that it<br />

was AWC Gothenburg that got the US Embassy<br />

to make biannual visits to the city, making it<br />

easier for our members and others to renew<br />

passports and report births. We host a welcome<br />

table and often have also had activities for children with crafts as well with learning about the<br />

United States.<br />

Charitable activities – last year, we raised money for the organization Operation Smile. We had<br />

a raffle where we had themed gift bags. For example, since we had had the movie night event,<br />

we had a movie bag that included movie gift tickets, soda and popcorn. The raffle took place<br />

during our Lucia meeting, which is right before Christmas. We also support the Haiti Relief Fund<br />

and had a food drive for a local organization that needed support.<br />

Gothenburg is on the west coast of Sweden and is the second largest city in the country. There<br />

are 20 museums, 12 tram lines, two universities, six restaurants boasting one star in the Guide<br />

Michelin, and lately, the local beer scene has been growing; it’s now one of the hottest hubs for<br />

craft beer. Also in the city is the largest amusement park in Scandinavia. In 2017, the city was<br />

designated the World’s Most Sustainable Destination. So as you can tell that the city itself has<br />

plenty to offer – and that’s before we even talk about the rocky shoreline and beautiful green<br />

forests within minutes of the center.<br />

Sweden itself is a beautiful place, and it is what I imagined when I moved here. There is so much<br />

to see and even though I have already seen it, it is a delight to experience it again because<br />

Sweden feels genuine. I especially love the islands outside Gothenburg and the islands north of<br />

Gothenburg. I love spending summer days island-hopping, traveling with the ferry to the islands.<br />

There are so many islands to discover. The sun sets after 10 pm, which makes the day so much<br />

longer to explore places.<br />

23<br />

Another favorite of mine is the Göteborg Film<br />

Festival. It is the largest film festival in the<br />

Nordic countries, with about 450 films from 80<br />

countries. Visitors also come from many<br />

different countries to see the films. (The<br />

American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club loves that AWC<br />

Oslo comes to visit during the film festival. We<br />

love to see them when they come, and we<br />

usually meet for a dinner).<br />

The stereotypical Swede is a serious person,<br />

but in Gothenburg, people have a way of<br />

joking which is in the form of puns and with<br />

irony. Why don’t you come and experience<br />

for yourself? We’d love to welcome you to<br />

our city!<br />

Dorothy Andersson,<br />

President, AWC Gothenburg

USA: 40 Years At The Opera<br />

24<br />

I grew up in Chicago, the eldest of 4 children and<br />

the only girl. My dad was an attorney and my<br />

mother a visual artist, pianist and organist. I started<br />

music, dance and theatre lessons at 7; harp lessons<br />

at 13; and my formal voice training started at 16.<br />

I was a double major in harp and voice in college,<br />

first at Northwestern University and later the University<br />

of Illinois. I sang in a few summer opera programs<br />

during college and then auditioned for baritone Tito<br />

Gobbi and vocal coach Luigi Ricci, both of Rome, at<br />

the Lyric Opera in Chicago. They encouraged me to<br />

move to Italy at the beginning of 1974 to study with<br />

them, before I had completed my degree. (I did<br />

eventually graduate!) Two years later, Maestro<br />

Gobbi and his wife, Tilde, arranged for the director of<br />

Opera Forum in Enschede, NL to hear me sing and I was hired for my first engagement in 1976.<br />

They also introduced me to the opera company’s first conductor, Arthur Fagen, who conducted<br />

my professional debut, as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and whom I married in 1978. We had 2<br />

daughters (Alicia, born in NL and Rebecca, in BE) while I continued to sing operas and concerts<br />

in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Belgium, and Israel. When we lived in Belgium in 1984, I joined<br />

the American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club in Antwerp, while I was singing at the Opera Voor Flanderen. My<br />

operatic career was full-time for 13 years,<br />

mostly abroad.<br />

When we moved back to the States in<br />

1986, I still continued to sing, but found<br />

the traveling, with our children in school,<br />

quite difficult while my husband was<br />

traveling for work as well. I wound down<br />

singing full-time, but was still ambitious for<br />

a career and went to law school from<br />

1990-93. I practiced law briefly and then<br />

had our 3 rd daughter (Gabriela, in NY –<br />

we missed having the BeNeLux kids by<br />

one). When I returned to work a few<br />

years later, it was as a law school<br />

administrator. Throughout all of this time, I<br />

continued to sing benefit concerts and<br />

some symphony concerts in and around<br />

NY. Then in 2002, we returned to<br />

Germany. My husband was appointed<br />

General Music Director in Dortmund and<br />


FAUSA Member (formerly of American <strong>Women</strong>’s<br />

Club of Düsseldorf)<br />

From: Chicago, IL<br />

Lives: Bloomington, IN and Atlanta, GA

we settled 70 km away, in Düsseldorf, to be near an<br />

International School and the American <strong>Women</strong>’s<br />

Club (AWCD). I continued to sing benefit concerts,<br />

holiday concerts with the Dortmund Orchestra,<br />

events for the AWCD, as well as for the Gala<br />

evening of the 2006 Biennial FAWCO Conference<br />

which took place in Berlin.<br />

When we repatriated a second time, in 2007, I<br />

joined FAUSA right away and was grateful to be<br />

one of FAWCO’s representatives to the UN<br />

Economic and Social Council in NY. But we moved<br />

to Bloomington, Indiana shortly afterwards for my<br />

husband to join the faculty of IU’s music school,<br />

where he is chair of orchestral conducting. My last<br />

professional engagement was as the Soprano<br />

soloist in Mahler’s Second Symphony with the New<br />

Mexico Philharmonic in Albuquerque, shortly after<br />

my 60 th birthday, 6 years ago. Since that time,<br />

because of our involvement in the IU music school,<br />

summer opera programs abroad, as well as the<br />

Atlanta opera, where my husband is music director,<br />

I come into contact with, coach and advise many<br />

young singers, though I don’t maintain a voice<br />

studio. In addition, our youngest daughter,<br />

Gabriela, is a grad student at IU in vocal<br />

performance. (She was the winner of FAWCO’s 2015 Viola Wheeler Arts Education award.)<br />

Today I continue working with voice students. I certainly love giving moral support and advice to<br />

many of the talented young singers we meet. I’m fortunate that through my husband’s work and<br />

my daughter’s operatic aspirations, I continue to keep all that I have learned in opera relevant<br />

to my current life, though it is no longer my career. And once in a while I dust off the vocal cords<br />

to sing for charity or fun.<br />

The first music I listened to and imitated, as a teenager, was that of Maria Callas. I later studied<br />

with her frequent collaborator Tito Gobbi. He was a master interpreter, as was Callas. Every<br />

nuanced bit of drama was in their vocal interpretations. Over the years, we have developed<br />

friendships with many of the international opera stars, instrumentalists, stage directors and<br />

conductors whom we once looked up to. It has been a very rewarding and continually<br />

interesting life path.<br />

I find the amount of information and recorded performances available through the internet<br />

amazingly wonderful and, at the same time, intimidating. Students have such a wealth of<br />

potential training to refer to, right in their computers or phones. Yet, it is almost too much, as it<br />

needs to be curated to be effective. Young musicians are pulled in many directions. They also<br />

have to be social media savvy and entrepreneurial. When I studied in Rome, I focused on my<br />

technique and learning one role at a time. Building up a repertoire, incrementally, that served<br />

me throughout my career. I did not have to show the world what I could do, until I was ready.<br />

Today, I think there is over-exposure and constant competition for young singers. That can be<br />

difficult, as voices need to be gently cultivated and allowed time to grow. The voices that are<br />

the flashiest at a young age are not necessarily those that develop into “recording quality”<br />

beautiful voices or those that fill a theatre with luscious sound, and if not careful, they often burn<br />

out early. The fact that I can still sing healthfully into my 60s is owed to the nurturing I had as a<br />

student – and that I didn’t overuse my voice in the past 40 years.<br />


Music is an artistic expression of<br />

communication and emotion. If you have<br />

nothing to communicate, if you are not<br />

tapped into the essence of your being and<br />

expression, the audience will not be<br />

moved, no matter how technically<br />

excellent you may be. But if the essence is<br />

there, it can be magical. And that can be<br />

so, even when the execution is not<br />

technically “perfect.” Being in touch with<br />

that essence is the most profoundly moving<br />

experience as a performer. I truly love the<br />

process of learning and performing from<br />

beginning to end – and not for the<br />

audience reaction, though that is an<br />

added bonus.<br />

I am not a passive listener. I once took a<br />

sculpture class and the teacher played<br />

opera recordings as background music. I<br />

could not become one with my sculpting,<br />

because opera is never background music<br />

for me. I am actively listening to and<br />

assessing every note, word, quality of sound<br />

and tempo. That can be interesting and<br />

satisfying as an audience member, but too<br />

distracting in other settings.<br />

I sang 36 different leading roles during the<br />

active years of my career, from Maria in<br />

West Side Story, in a year-long run at Berlin’s Theater des Westens, to over 60 performances of the<br />

Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Magic Flute. But, I am most proud of my collaboration with<br />

composer Lorenzo Ferrero. I performed the world premiere of his song cycle Canzoni d’Amore,<br />

written for my voice (I am a Coloratura Soprano,) at the Biennale of Venice and sang the title<br />

role in the German premiere of his opera Marilyn, as part of the dokumenta VII modern art<br />

festival in Kassel, Germany.<br />

Pieces of music I recommend/love<br />

To Listen to:<br />

“Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin: I have listened to and loved this piece since my<br />

childhood.<br />

Brahms’ “Haydn Variations” conducted by Pablo Casals – my husband introduced me to<br />

this recording early in our relationship, I continue to love it.<br />

Scarpia’s 1 st act closing in Tosca, sung by Tito Gobbi. It was the first thing I heard Maestro<br />

Gobbi sing on recording and live, at the first opera performance I ever attended at 16 years<br />

old. It’s fabulous!<br />

“Because I Knew You” from Wicked, sung by Kristen<br />

Chenoweth and Idina Menzel; it is so meaningful and<br />

touching.<br />

To Perform:<br />

I would love to sing Violetta in La Traviata, if I were still at my<br />

peak. I have performed the aria “Sempre Libera” and the<br />

duet with Germont many times with orchestra, but never<br />

the entire role.<br />



Tell us something interesting about yourself that<br />

not many people know. I was a serious ice<br />

skater from 8 to 13 years old. I spent every<br />

afternoon and evening at an indoor ice rink,<br />

through dinner and homework, until 10 pm<br />

(probably a form of childcare, in my parents’<br />

eyes.) I not only prepared for competitions, but<br />

regularly performed skating solos and sang for<br />

birthday parties at the rink. However, because<br />

I started getting frequent sore throats and<br />

loved to sing more than skate, I stopped<br />

skating. Still, I think that the discipline I learned<br />

skating and being exposed to the dedication<br />

of my very accomplished peers was formative<br />

in my approach to singing.<br />

If you could perform with, or meet, one<br />

musician, who would it be? I would have loved<br />

to work with Mozart. I have sung many Mozart<br />

operas – all masterpieces. I would have loved<br />

to coach those roles with the master.<br />

The most unusual place I have listened to<br />

music was… in a large empty space in Paris,<br />

Atelier des Lumières, with projections of<br />

Hundertwasser and Klimt artwork on the<br />

concrete walls. It was not live music nor the<br />

actual artwork, but once I got over the virtual<br />

nature of the performance, it was amazingly<br />

moving to be enveloped in the multi-sensory<br />

artistic experience.<br />

If we looked in your purse what three things<br />

would we find that would tell us something<br />

about you? A handcrafted silver thimble in a<br />

small velvet pouch. – I am a quilter.<br />

A small pad of paper for notes. – I am a writer.<br />

Crayons – I am a grandmother.<br />

What are some of the things you would love to<br />

get better at and things you would like to stop<br />

doing? I often have a hard time saying thank<br />

you to a compliment. In singing, I was often<br />

fixated on what I needed to improve and<br />

imperfections in a performance. While it is<br />

important to be aware of those things to better<br />

your performances, it is insulting to the person<br />

giving a compliment to have their words<br />

negated and it also diminishes the<br />

performance. This carries over in other aspects<br />

of life, such as quilting and writing. I am<br />

continually working on this. Just say thank you!<br />


Norway: A Note from Oslo via Hawaii<br />


American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of Oslo, Norway<br />

From: Kaneohe, Hawaii<br />

Lives: Oslo, Norway<br />

Music has always been an inseparable part of my<br />

identity. When I was in elementary school I would<br />

spend all of my time creating stories and<br />

recording them on toy cassette players. It wasn’t a<br />

surprise to me when, aged fourteen, I started<br />

writing songs on the piano because it felt like<br />

inspiration was flowing into the keys in the same<br />

way they did on a typewriter. By the time I was in<br />

high school, I was interning at a recording studio<br />

and performing around Honolulu. I was interested<br />

in many other subjects in addition to music, so<br />

when it came time to look for colleges, I chose to<br />

pursue a liberal arts degree.<br />

College woke me up to the monumental depth of history and tradition in music. Prior to<br />

university, I had only heard about major male composers and had no idea that living<br />

composers, especially female composers, existed. I believed that composers simply woke up<br />

with ideas in their head and poured them on to paper with flowing quills; in reality, the creative<br />

process is often a combination of logic, structure, and inspiration. I began to understand why<br />

there were so few female composers throughout the history of Western music after experiencing<br />

how much training goes into becoming one.<br />

Majoring in music was one of the toughest paths I ever took but I am grateful for it. In high<br />

school, I was able to breeze through music courses and never had to study or practice very<br />

much. College was a<br />

different story. I struggled<br />

to understand music<br />

theory and nearly<br />

dropped out of being a<br />

music major after I failed<br />

my first exam. The<br />

textbook was a maze of<br />

symbols that felt like it was<br />

written in code I couldn’t<br />

decipher. Thankfully, my<br />

professors encouraged<br />

me to continue and<br />

helped me get the extra<br />

academic support I<br />

needed. Once I caught<br />

up on the fundamentals,<br />

music theory became an<br />


instrumental part of my<br />

understanding of how music works,<br />

and is written. Studying music gave<br />

me the tools and context I craved<br />

to expand my compositional<br />

toolbox. I also started my own<br />

piano school and worked as an<br />

accompanist for schools in and<br />

around Honolulu.<br />

After I finished my master’s degree<br />

in composition, I went to Los<br />

Angeles to work as an intern at a<br />

major film music studio. While I<br />

continued to pursue a permanent<br />

role in a studio, I worked as an<br />

executive assistant to be able to stay in LA.<br />

A year later, a shot of magic burst out of nowhere. The biology professor from graduate school<br />

was publishing her memoir and it was on the road to becoming an international bestseller. She<br />

asked me to compose a piece for the accompanying audiobook. While I was working on the<br />

piece, her best friend happened to be in town for a family event; he ended up coming to the<br />

recording sessions. We fell in love even though his job would be relocating to Norway. This meant<br />

we had to decide where we would live.<br />

Two years ago we decided to move to Oslo. So here I am now, carving out a quiet existence. It<br />

has taken time to find out how to get immersed in the music scene here, but there have been<br />

small successes. Most recently, one of my songs was selected as a winner in a contest for<br />

Scandic Hotels.<br />

I miss the music community I had in Honolulu and Los Angeles, but am trying to develop<br />

relationships here while also balancing intensive language courses and a full-time job in a<br />

startup. Growing up, I was told relentlessly that music is a tough industry to be in, and yet, I<br />

persevered. However, after a decade of not having health insurance, a dependable stream of<br />

income, retirement, and working night hours, I decided to find steady income outside the<br />

industry so that I can write on my own terms. Regardless, creating music will remain an integral<br />

part of my being, whether or not anyone out there is listening. I find that a room filled with<br />

candlelight while the darkness and cold rages outside sparks my creativity.<br />

I’m currently working on an<br />

album that is inspired by the<br />

history of 19 th century migrant<br />

workers in Hawai’i. I’m<br />

fascinated by the impact the<br />

sugar industry had on the<br />

contemporary political and<br />

cultural makeup of the islands<br />

and am exploring these<br />

themes in my writing. My<br />

great-great grandparents<br />

came from Canton, China to<br />

work as sugarcane plantation<br />

workers, so the project has a<br />

personal connection for me.<br />


Pieces of music I recommend/love<br />

Scarlet’s Walk, Tori Amos.<br />

Symphony no. 9 in E minor, Dvořák.<br />

Ola Gjeilo, Ola Gjeilo.<br />

String Quartet in F major, Maurice Ravel.<br />

Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi– The Four Seasons;<br />

Max Richter.<br />




Tell us something interesting about yourself that<br />

not many people know. I am fairly sure I never<br />

tried a hamburger until I was over 25.<br />

If we looked in your purse/wallet/pocket, what<br />

three things would we find that would tell us<br />

something about you? 3 different highlighters<br />

in peach shades (easier on the eyes and yet<br />

also helps important materials stand out),<br />

about 4 lip balms (always chapped lips up<br />

here) and my textbooks for Norwegian class<br />

(this has been my life for two years!)<br />

What are some of the things you would love to<br />

get better at and things you would like to stop<br />

doing? I would like to continue to get better at<br />

composing and teaching. There is endless<br />

need for improvement.<br />

Happy Holidays! Happy Pajama Days!<br />

30<br />

Nothing says “you’re my favorite” more than the<br />

gift of pajamas. The Pajama Company has<br />

something for everyone on your gift list-including<br />

you! Visit our website to see our collections of<br />

nightshirts, PJ bottoms, matching sets for the whole<br />

family and more! There is no time to waste!<br />

Whether it’s something for a serious sleeper or for<br />

your cuddle buddy, pajamas are a “warm hug” to<br />

family and friends.<br />

Ellie Badanes, FAUSA Member and The Pajama<br />

Company Founder

If I were a musical instrument I would be...<br />

..a piano. I<br />

used to love<br />

improvising on<br />

the piano<br />

when I was<br />

young, in spite<br />

of the fact<br />

that when I was a child, my teacher in<br />

Vienna – a petite but energetic elderly<br />

lady - would actually take a ruler and<br />

beat my fingers whenever I got a tone<br />

wrong!<br />


..a cello for sure! A cello is<br />

beautiful and curvy and<br />

makes the most divine<br />

dark and powerful sounds.<br />

Girl power at its best!<br />


..a French horn. The<br />

sounds are so rich, and<br />

they come from more<br />

than ten feet of pipe.<br />


..a saxophone because the sound gets people’s<br />

attention. It is so beautiful and it can go from low to<br />

high. You can swing<br />

me low and then up<br />

high. I am a beautiful<br />

instrument and my<br />

sound is unique. I can<br />

make any band<br />

sound outstanding.<br />


...a drum kit. If I was his drum kit, I could<br />

shout when he misses a beat: my<br />

husband has had the desire to learn for<br />

many years, but he has not discovered<br />

how he needs to walk before he can<br />

run.<br />


...played by the right musician, a cello. The<br />

sound is so rich and sonorous. The cello can<br />

sing, support, be delicate and resonate<br />

through the theatre. Beautiful cello playing<br />

can move me to tears.<br />


...a piano, of course. An orchestra in its own<br />

right, the piano is the most female of all<br />

instruments – a multi-tasker capable of a wide<br />

range of emotions<br />

and fascinating<br />

stories.<br />




Austria: Singing for the Lord<br />

I grew up in Woodville, Mississippi, on a farm, one of<br />

eleven children. My family had horses, cows, hogs, goats,<br />

dogs and cats. I had a pet pig called Tiny. My father had<br />

a large garden and he raised potatoes, corn and sugar<br />

cane. He also worked in a factory. My church did not<br />

have a piano so the old people used to pat their feet<br />

and clap their hands. We did not have a choir and kids<br />

in the church were never given the opportunity to sing. I<br />

joined the high school marching band where I played<br />

the saxophone.<br />

Growing up I loved to listen to music, but never<br />

envisioned myself as a singer because I was very shy and<br />

did not believe I was musically inclined. My family did not<br />

have a TV so I often listened to Motown music on the<br />

radio; my favorite singers were Aretha Franklin, Natalie<br />

Cole and the Staple Singers. I still listen to the same people today with the addition of the<br />

Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.<br />

I left home at 18 to attend Alcorn State University where I studied office administration. I also<br />

joined the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. One of the girls said that I sang as though I had a frog in my<br />

throat and she hated it when I even sang background. Not an easy thing to hear!<br />

After graduating from the University, I moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, to live with my brothers.<br />

Two of them sang in a gospel singing group along with a cousin and asked me to join them. I<br />

loved gospel music but<br />

didn't think I was gifted<br />

enough to sing.<br />

Eventually, I joined<br />

them and my voice<br />

begin to develop. After<br />

my early experience it<br />

surprised me when<br />

people said they liked<br />

my singing. I eventually<br />

joined a church in New<br />

Orleans and began to<br />

sing solos.<br />

While living in New<br />

Orleans, I started to<br />

participate with church<br />

groups traveling<br />


American <strong>Women</strong>’s Association of Vienna, Austria<br />

From: Mississippi, USA<br />

Lives: Vienna, Austria<br />


abroad on short-term mission<br />

journeys. My first trip was to<br />

Ryazan, Russia, where I<br />

evangelized, sang solos and<br />

accompanied a praise and<br />

worship team. Some years later, I<br />

relocated to Georgia and<br />

attended First Baptist Church of<br />

Atlanta. I joined the choir and<br />

sometimes sang on In Touch<br />

Ministries, which was broadcast<br />

nationally and internationally. I<br />

became quite popular and<br />

began to sing at weddings,<br />

funerals and Christmas parties,<br />

etc. During this period, I<br />

continued to travel abroad<br />

singing with a group.<br />

After taking an early retirement from Delta Air Lines, I went on to work as a banker for Wells<br />

Fargo and Fidelity National Bank. Then in 2013, a Polish choir (Gospel Joy), asked me to join<br />

them in Poland for a year as one of their lead singers. I had often considered moving to Europe<br />

but did not know how it could happen. I was able to get monetary support from my church,<br />

family and friends and so by the end of that year, I felt secure enough to resign from my place<br />

of employment, put my furniture in storage, rent my house and say goodbye to my family. In<br />

January 2014, I was off to Poznan, Poland.<br />

When the year ended, I moved to Vienna, Austria and now I work as a Ministry Assistant at the<br />

Christian International Church, which is located in the 10 th District. I am a song leader in my<br />

church and I also formed a small group which is called Soundz of Joy.<br />

When I got to Vienna I had googled “choirs in Vienna” and lo and behold, there was the<br />

Longfield Gospel Choir. So, I joined two of the Longfield choirs and have traveled with them<br />

singing in Denmark, Germany and all over Austria. It is always special to me when the AWA<br />

Vienna ladies attend our concerts, especially when we sang at St. Stephen's Cathedral. The<br />

Longfield Choirs (a total of four choirs under the same director) just completed a CD and I am<br />

a song leader on three of the songs.<br />

33<br />

I enjoy living in Vienna and<br />

think that singing is the best job<br />

in the world. Singing gospel<br />

songs is right in my element<br />

and I hope, in the future, to get<br />

trained so I could add some<br />

Christian jazz to my genre. My<br />

dream would be to travel<br />

round the world singing with a<br />

small band. Over the years I<br />

have had the opportunity to<br />

travel around the world and<br />

sing: from the streets of Hong<br />

Kong to Argentina and Chile,<br />

to Costa Rica and many<br />

places in the USA, to Canada<br />

to Egypt and many countries<br />

around Europe.

It feels good when someone in one of<br />

these countries remembers me and<br />

some still extend an invitation to come<br />

back to see them.<br />

I would also like to learn to play my<br />

saxophone better and include it when I<br />

sing. When I sing, I put my whole being<br />

into what I am singing because I want<br />

the audience to believe and feel the<br />

message in the music.<br />

Pieces of music I recommend/love<br />

The Easter version of Leonard<br />

Cohen's song “Hallelujah.” It is a<br />

classic, many people love this song<br />

and they sing it all over the world.<br />

The same for “O Happy Day” and “Amazing Grace.”<br />

I recently recorded “Sometimes I Feel Live A Motherless<br />

Child” and I would love to share it with the world.<br />

The song “He's An On Time God” brings out the tiger in me<br />

and I love it when the audience goes wild when I sing it. I<br />

love a lot of the old classics.<br />


Tell us something interesting about yourself that<br />

not many people know. When I am done<br />

singing, I just want to run off the stage and<br />

hide. I actually sometimes get a bit shy when<br />

people applaud.<br />

If you could perform with, or meet, one<br />

musician, who would it be? I would have loved<br />

to meet Whitney Houston. She was a great<br />

34<br />

singer and it would have been an honor to sing<br />

with her. Mariah Carey is also one of my all time<br />

favorite singers. I would love to sing a duet with<br />

her but I would have to sing lower notes. Her<br />

voice is outstanding.<br />

The most unusual place I have listened to music<br />

was… I traveled to Santiago, Chile, on a<br />

medical mission trip and a popular singer was<br />

doing a concert at the tennis stadium. I knew<br />

one of the sponsors. When<br />

I arrived at the stadium, I<br />

was asked to also sing<br />

before over 5000 people<br />

and it was impromptu. I did<br />

quite well.<br />

What are some of the<br />

things you would love to<br />

get better at and things<br />

you would like to stop<br />

doing? I would love to get<br />

better at doing runs and<br />

remembering song lyrics. I<br />

would love to stop getting<br />

nervous when performing<br />

a new song because I<br />

sometimes think that I will<br />

forget the lyrics.

Switzerland: A Life Of Jazz<br />

I grew up in a family of five children. My parents<br />

were hotel owners in Bern, Switzerland and Greece.<br />

At our villa, they regularly hosted guests from all<br />

over the world, which encouraged us children to<br />

use many different languages from as early as five<br />

years old. Besides going to school, I learned to play<br />

classical piano.<br />

But then I discovered Bill Haley's “Rock Around The<br />

Clock,” which my parents brought back for us from<br />

a trip to the USA in 1956. In the mid-sixties I heard<br />

Erroll Garner perform live for the first time. From<br />

then, this was "my music." Erroll had such a distinct<br />

way of playing, after the first few notes one<br />

recognized him instantly.<br />

After graduating with a degree in interior architecture, I started my first job with an architect<br />

who specialized in hotel developments in Copenhagen, Denmark. There, in 1969, I heard Miles<br />

Davis life at Tivoli Concert Hall. Then, in the early seventies I lived for four years in Singapore,<br />

where I founded my first own company. Then I<br />

moved to Hong Kong, where my new design<br />

company developed hotel projects all over the<br />

world for the next 25 years. Over these years, my<br />

interest in classical music diminished and was<br />

replaced by the love of jazz. The more I listened<br />

to the various styles in jazz and was surrounded<br />

by top jazz musicians talking about their music,<br />

the more profound comprehension I acquired of<br />

the genre itself. I consider myself extremely lucky<br />

to have received such privileges almost my<br />

entire life.<br />

In 1990, I returned to my hometown of Bern, and<br />

my husband and I bought the 8000 m² property,<br />

Innere Enge, Bern which today has become the<br />

Unique Jazz Hotel. It has a total of 26<br />

guestrooms, as well as the Brasserie Josephine,<br />

the world- renowned Marians Jazzroom, the<br />

Parc Café and a minigolf course.<br />

For many years, my husband has invited<br />

international jazz legends such as Oscar<br />

Peterson, Lionel Hampton, Ahmad Jamal, Clark<br />


American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of Bern, Switzerland<br />

From: Bern, Switzerland<br />

Lives: Bern, Switzerland<br />


Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis and many more to perform at his Jazzfestival Bern. We still<br />

continue with our involvement in the world of jazz to this day by hosting over 350 concerts per<br />

year at our Jazzroom, bringing today's most famous jazz musicians to Bern. We are also thrilled<br />

to discover young jazz talents. For example, during our International Jazzfestival Bern (March to<br />

May), we offer a platform for students from the New School and Juilliard in New York - and<br />

more recently, Berklee College of Music - a chance to perform too.<br />

I have been the happiest "hostess" to all the musicians, while my husband, Hans Zurbrügg, who<br />

started the Jazzfestival Bern in the first place 43 years ago – and now his son Benny, who has<br />

been in charge for the last 20 years – have been the main organizers.<br />

Jazz music is fascinating. You can only learn it by listening, not by simply reading notes. It<br />

changes all the time, and there are so many creative ways it is being played. I am continually<br />

fascinated by the constant innovative improvisation of jazz music – an instrumental<br />

conversation on stage between musicians. There is just never a dull moment for the attentive<br />

listener! Those "blue notes" or those "split second delayed notes" which create the most unique<br />

tensions, or the "whisper of a sound" to the most "powerful tone:" all, at times, giving me goose<br />

bumps all over!<br />



Tell us something<br />

interesting about yourself<br />

that not many people<br />

know. I was in China in<br />

1968 during the Cultural<br />

Revolution – four years<br />

before President Richard<br />

Nixon went.<br />

The most unusual place I<br />

have listened to music<br />

was… It was at the 2006<br />

Jazzfestival Bern, the<br />

Blues & Soul summit at<br />

the big hall called the<br />

Kursaal. "King Solomon" Burke (one of the<br />

founding fathers of soul music) asked for a<br />

king's throne on stage. His weight was between<br />

300 and 400 pounds. My husband<br />

commissioned me with this task.<br />

possible. Lights on : "King Solomon" remained<br />

seated in his XXL wheelchair covered by a red<br />

blanket; to his left and right were vases with 100<br />

red roses. The concert started and thankfully<br />

was a huge success !!<br />

After quite some search, I found a very large<br />

throne. It was an antique piece, and I had to<br />

guarantee that I return it all in one piece. It was<br />

transported to the hall with the greatest of care<br />

and placed on stage. Solomon's daughters<br />

insisted it needed to be fastened on the floor so<br />

that their father would not fall over. It wasn't a<br />

simple thing to do without using screws!<br />

Finally we found ways, and everybody was<br />

happy. Evening came, and one minute prior to<br />

Solomon going on stage, he refused to sit on<br />

this throne! We had to dismantle it as quickly as<br />

36<br />

If we looked in your purse, what three things<br />

would we find that would tell us something<br />

about you? My Mini Countryman key, my purse<br />

and a quote from an unknown writer :<br />

* Take your time to be friendly, it is the gate to<br />

happiness.<br />

* Take your time to dream, it is the way to the<br />

stars.<br />

* Take your time to love, it is the real zest for life.<br />

* Take your time to be happy, it is the music of<br />

your soul.

Germany: A Musical Teacher<br />

37<br />

I was born in Ballycastle, Northern Ireland. I was the<br />

only daughter and we lived on a farm. For my parents,<br />

married in 1949, it was a challenge economically as<br />

the UK recovered from rationing and the scars of World<br />

War II. There were few luxuries. The installation of<br />

running water was the first priority followed by<br />

electricity and central heating much later when I was<br />

approaching my teenage years.<br />

Family life was happy and my mother was an<br />

extraordinary cook and hostess. Social interaction was<br />

mostly with our cousins and extended family. My<br />

mother was a competent pianist and singer and well<br />

known as a church organist and choir director. For me<br />

personally, music was an integral part of life. Hearing<br />

my mother sing was particularly emotional for me and some of my earliest memories included<br />

singing in the children’s choir in our local church. Piano lessons featured too. I was more<br />

dedicated to practice than my brothers, who had other distractions on the farm.<br />

I wanted to teach from the day I entered school and sure enough, after secondary education I<br />

enrolled to pursue my dream at Queen’s University, Belfast. In the 60s, music as an academic<br />

subject was in its infancy in secondary education, but credit to my school, the headmaster<br />

found a solution to ensure I could study music as an academic subject. I ended up studying<br />

music and mathematics alongside education at university; playing cello in the college<br />

orchestra; singing solo and choral parts in Gilbert and Sullivan operas; singing second soprano in<br />

the madrigal group, and I had the privilege of conducting this group at the Galway Choral<br />

Festival in my final year.<br />

In addition to the<br />

expansion of knowledge,<br />

we had practical<br />

experience teaching in<br />

schools during each year<br />

of study. My first teaching<br />

post was in a challenging<br />

girls’ school in north<br />

Belfast. I can only<br />

describe it as a real<br />

baptism by fire and a test<br />

of resilience and<br />

perseverance to inspire<br />

teenage girls about<br />

classical music when<br />


Munich International <strong>Women</strong>’s Club,<br />

Germany<br />

From: Northern Ireland<br />

Lives: Between England and Bavaria

they had more interest in the 70s<br />

pop group “The Bay City Rollers.”<br />

We have recently settled in the<br />

Cotswolds to be close to one<br />

daughter after an itinerant life of<br />

forty years. Initially during my<br />

husband’s military pilot training in<br />

the RAF, we moved around<br />

England, Scotland and Wales.<br />

Then in the 90s we spent time in<br />

Maryland, USA, at the Naval Test<br />

Pilot school, then were posted to<br />

Bavaria for three years. After this<br />

we went to Munich where we<br />

clocked up another eleven years<br />

before a final two years living in<br />

Saudi Arabia.<br />

Right now, my musical skills are percolating in readiness for a new challenge. This will include<br />

the musical development of our four grandchildren. Prior to our first German assignment, I was<br />

a full time Director of Music in a comprehensive school in Wiltshire. In Munich, I conducted the<br />

Youth Choir in the church and introduced the idea of an orchestra that included all levels of<br />

performance. My time in Saudi Arabia was greatly enhanced and inspired through teaching<br />

twenty young musicians on our compound and acting as accompanist to young singers and<br />

adults taking Associated Board examinations. Since our retirement in April <strong>2018</strong>, we have<br />

enjoyed connecting with live musical performances in Cheltenham and beyond. I love being<br />

“home” where my grand piano adorns our living room and I can play when time permits. I am<br />

watching and waiting to see how I contribute musically in the future. “Use it or lose it” is my<br />

mantra. My teaching career has been diverse but I am proud of the fact that I have been able<br />

to inspire and encourage many young people to stay committed to the challenge of learning<br />

to play a musical instrument.<br />

38<br />

My first piano teacher was inspirational, and I<br />

excelled under his tutelage. I made my debut<br />

as a performer at Coleraine Music and Drama<br />

Festival. I had no idea what to expect. To my<br />

complete surprise, I won the trophy for the best<br />

performance. A move to a different teacher,<br />

who taught at my high school, proved to be<br />

good logistically but not so academically. I<br />

progressed as a pianist but not as a performer.<br />

During our time in USA, my Canadian friend, a<br />

flautist, encouraged me to have lessons with<br />

Brian Ganz, a professional pianist and tutor at<br />

Maryland University. The nine lessons during that<br />

year were like finding a pot of gold. As an adult,<br />

I proved that I could perform a wide repertoire<br />

of classical music. I use the memories of this<br />

time to inspire my desire to perform and keep<br />

improving my skills.<br />

At university, I discovered that I was a little “fish”<br />

in a great big “musical” pond. Musicians share<br />

such diversity in learning, creativity and<br />

performance. Musicians cannot always

measure their success alongside the musical abilities of their peers. Often musicians are judged<br />

by their ability to perform and little is known about the hard work and creativity that brings their<br />

success to fruition. By the time I worked in my most challenging and ultimately dream job as a<br />

Director of Music in Wiltshire, I realized that the musical success of all my pupils required me to<br />

have a team of instrumental experts to support, advise and inspire all pupils regardless of<br />

academic ability. Consequently, there was never an empty seat at my annual concerts themed<br />

with drama excerpts to showcase the best of my Rock groups, the Windband, the Choir and<br />

instrumental ensembles. This successful formula raised the profile of the school in the local area so<br />

much that parents were choosing our school for their musical child in preference to others. The<br />

highest accolade during my career there was the prize for the best performance of my senior<br />

Windband at the Salisbury Schools’ Music festival.<br />

I am very proud and happy that my musical skills<br />

have been an inspiration to so many. I think of<br />

Jessica, a six-year-old, who was most inspired<br />

when I discovered she loved to sing as she<br />

played; then Ross, a very competent and mature<br />

young man who discovered the need to<br />

practice; Jarvis, who liked to improvise, and the<br />

boys who delighted in performing the Star Wars<br />

theme in our farewell concert and last but not<br />

least Jade, who wrote a poem about the<br />

environment, performing it as a song with guitar<br />

accompaniment. Elle surprised me most of all by<br />

mastering the walking bass of her piece called C<br />

Jam Blues.<br />

Music breaks down barriers where other methods<br />

fail. It can arouse memories, calm the soul and be<br />

the inspiration to others to pursue their dreams. It<br />

is important to hear live performances and<br />

interact with other musicians to realize potential<br />

and improve performance skills. When I hear a<br />

haunting melody or a masterful performance, I<br />

am compelled to listen and appreciate the<br />

moment. I cannot read a book and listen to<br />

music at the some time. Good music engages the brain to appreciate the skill of the composer.<br />

Pieces of music I recommend/love<br />

Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto. I love the melodic and harmonic structure of the slow<br />

movement in contrast to the depth and power of the romantic orchestral sound.<br />

“Blue Skies” sung by Kiri Te Kanawa, a truly wonderful vocalist. This song reminds me of the<br />

sunny blue sky days we enjoyed in Maryland, USA, in 1991.<br />

Franz Schubert’s Impromptu in G flat Major. I performed this piece in my teens. It is<br />

technically demanding with rich harmonies and flowing chordal sequences.<br />

“Hotel California” by the Eagles. This group is an inspiration to all guitarists. My youngest<br />

brother found his musical talent playing guitar. This piece is layered with wonderful<br />

harmonic sequences and countermelodies and yet the<br />

clarity and sensitivity in performance is on the same plane as<br />

some classical pieces.<br />

“Silent Night.” To think that this melody was composed in a<br />

little church is magical and inspirational. It is the best loved<br />

Christmas carol in Germany and is sung unaccompanied in a<br />

candlelit atmosphere. A true reminder of precious times with<br />

family and friends especially at Christmas.<br />



Tell us something interesting about yourself<br />

that not many people know. I am married to<br />

an ex-RAF pilot and test pilot and have loved<br />

every flying opportunity during our married<br />

life. I have looped the loop and performed a<br />

barrel roll in a Cap 10 (a small aerobatic<br />

aircraft flown by the trainee test pilots during<br />

their course.) In Wiltshire when my husband<br />

was Officer Commanding the Empire Test Pilot<br />

school at Boscombe Down, I had a wonderful<br />

flight in a Luscombe, watching my husband<br />

and a colleague simulating a “dogfight” in<br />

two SE5, WW1 aircraft. Two years ago, I had a<br />

magical flight in a motor glider in the Bavarian<br />

Alps and this past summer, I experienced my<br />

first paragliding trip in the Austrian Alps.<br />

If you could perform with one musician/group<br />

of musicians who would it/they be? I would<br />

love to be the conductor of a large choral<br />

event with orchestral backing in the Royal<br />

Albert Hall in London. I had the opportunity to<br />

sing there early in my married life and it was<br />

electrifying to be part of a huge choral group<br />

performing Handel’s Messiah. I would love to<br />

conduct a performance with David Garrett,<br />

violinist, who has fused so many genres from<br />

classical to rock appealing to all ages.<br />

The most unusual place I have performed<br />

or listened to music was… in a bar in a<br />

Galway pub. Standing on top of a low<br />

table after a choral competition of all the<br />

university choirs in Ireland, the spirit of<br />

performance was very much alive and<br />

each choir took turns to sing. One<br />

madrigal in our repertoire was known by<br />

everyone, so with drinks in hand we<br />

celebrated the joy of music. Sharing this<br />

unforgettable moment of friendship has<br />

reminded me so often how music<br />

transcends all divides; cultural, racial,<br />

political and religious.<br />


Spain: The “Singing Housing Specialist”<br />


Barcelona <strong>Women</strong>’s Network, Spain<br />

From: North Carolina, USA<br />

Lives: Sant Andreu de Llavaneres, Nr<br />

Barcelona, Spain<br />

I grew up in North Carolina, the eldest of five children.<br />

My childhood was happy and music was everywhere:<br />

in the church, at home and on television. I was<br />

addicted to Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Louis<br />

Armstrong movies and others.<br />

I left home at age 18 to go to college. My family never<br />

encouraged me to sing, so the first thing I did at<br />

college was to form a 4-member girls’ singing group.<br />

We were a hit. In the mid-sixties we opened the shows<br />

of artists like Gladys Knight and the Pips, the<br />

Commodores, Curtis Mayfield and others. We were<br />

known as the Angels.<br />

After college I went to live in Washington, D.C. My<br />

profession had very little to do with my BS in Business Education. I started off as a file clerk in the<br />

Department of HUD, went into their Intern Program and became a Program Analyst,<br />

moonlighting on the side as a jazz singer in and around the Washington Metropolitan area. I was<br />

known as the “singing housing specialist.” When my marriage of 5 years went on the rocks I<br />

decided to take a leave from my GS-12 Program Analyst position to pursue my passion for music.<br />

I left the states because there were more possibilities for me in Europe. I came to Palma de<br />

Mallorca 42 years ago; moved around in the Mediterranean between Spain, central Europe,<br />

Egypt and Italy until, whilst performing on Costa Cruises, I met my Catalan husband. I was<br />

already living in Catalonia and have been married since 2004. My official name is Gwendolyn<br />

Gilmore de Comas.<br />

I will be singing until the day<br />

that I leave this world, or as<br />

long as God gives me voice<br />

and strength. Music for me is<br />

medicine, it’s magic, it’s<br />

happiness and I love sharing<br />

that with anyone who wishes to<br />

listen. I am currently preparing<br />

the recording of my next CD,<br />

which should be released<br />

summer 2019.<br />

In the beginning I was<br />

influenced most of all by Judy<br />

Garland, Ella Fitzgerald and<br />

Frank Sinatra among others.<br />


I consider myself a female crooner. Although I sing jazz, swing, blues, rhythm and blues,<br />

standards and ballads, I feel more comfortable with jazz and swing. I would have had a ball<br />

during the big band era.<br />

Music is medicine for me. Music gives me a natural high. I can go to another, higher place when<br />

I am performing. It takes me a few minutes to come down to earth once I am finished. I enjoy<br />

myself and try to get my audience involved on the trip with me. When I listen to music I meditate<br />

and completely relax. I seldom attend public concerts. The buzz of people talking distracts my<br />

attention to what is happening with or through the music.<br />

Today the industry has become so<br />

business-like. Even though I’ll listen to all<br />

styles to understand and appreciate, I<br />

can’t wrap my brain around some of<br />

the modern techniques, like rap and<br />

hip-hop. I guess I am just a romantic.<br />

I am proud of how I have always used<br />

my music in solidarity with groups or<br />

people in need. I love aiding through<br />

my music and using my influence as<br />

someone well-known. In March 2012 I<br />

was given the European Gold<br />

Distinction Award for Achievements as<br />

an International Singer, Humanitarian<br />

and Producer.<br />

Pieces of music I recommend/love<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

“My Way” because the lyrics tell a story, somewhat like mine.<br />

“Everything Must Change” by Stevie Wonder, because that’s how life is - all things change,<br />

nothing stays the same.<br />

“What A Wonderful World” because this truly is a wonderful world, even with all of its<br />

craziness.<br />

“I Love Being Here With You” because that is what I dedicate to my audiences to let them<br />

know how much they mean to me.<br />

Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” because it is a beautiful melody with profound lyrics that give me<br />

a sense of peace.<br />



Tell us something interesting about yourself<br />

that not many people know. Even though I am<br />

basically reserved, I am an open book. I have<br />

a sense of humor that sometimes sneaks itself<br />

out of me. I love to cook and I have a<br />

collection of more than 200 elephants. I sing in<br />

nine languages, five of which I speak.<br />

the level of my other languages and learn to<br />

cook more like Master Chef. I would stop<br />

giving all of myself to others, leaving little or<br />

nothing for me. I must learn to say NO!<br />

If you could perform with one musician who<br />

would it be? That has already happened. I<br />

opened for my idol, Miss Ella Fitzgerald, in Italy<br />

in May of 1986. I was without words. I would<br />

love to do a duet either with Frank Sinatra or<br />

Barbara Streisand.<br />

The most unusual place I have performed or<br />

listened to music was… the venue was the<br />

Nightclub Archipelago in Harare, Zimbabwe. I<br />

was there one year after the fall of Rhodesia.<br />

This private nightclub was owned and run by a<br />

Greek Zimbabwean who was pursued by the<br />

Mugabe government because he was white<br />

and I was living and performing in an<br />

ambience of reversed apartheid. It was an<br />

interesting engagement and I was invited<br />

back during the same year.<br />

What are some of the things you would love to<br />

get better at and things you would like to stop<br />

doing? I would love to perfect my Catalan to<br />

Gwen with Ella Fitzgerald<br />

“Music is an extraordinary<br />

vehicle for expressing<br />

emotions - very powerful<br />

emotions. That’s what<br />

draws people to it.”<br />



USA: Dreaming of Accordians<br />


FAUSA and American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of Zurich<br />

From: Detroit, Michigan<br />

Lives: Cincinnati, Ohio<br />

44<br />

I was born in Detroit, Michigan and my early years<br />

were spent in the Hamtramck Polish area of Detroit,<br />

and then at 8 we moved to the suburb of Warren,<br />

which consisted of mainly Polish and Italian families. I<br />

am of Polish–Hungarian decent and 2 nd generation<br />

American. Though my father is Hungarian, my<br />

mother’s culture dominated my life. At the age of 6<br />

my mother enrolled me in Polish folk dancing<br />

classes. I absolutely loved it and excelled at it.<br />

While in dance classes I was exposed to an<br />

accordion. I was fascinated by its sound and look. I<br />

loved how the bellows went in and out and the<br />

diamond pattern on it changed as they did. I kept<br />

asking my mom if I could take lessons. Her answer<br />

was always the same – “no you are taking dance lessons.” I really wanted to play the accordion<br />

and every night I would look out the window for the first star and say “I wish I may, I wish I might<br />

have the wish I wish tonight: I wish for an accordion!”<br />

One day my mom overheard me, and realized how seriously I was wanting to play it. She<br />

explained to me that if I wanted to take up the accordion, then I had to give up dancing. She<br />

wasn’t going to be driving the 10 miles<br />

back to Polish area of town twice a<br />

week when she had three other<br />

children to take care of. I learned it very<br />

quickly and excelled at it. I have always<br />

been musically inclined.<br />

My best babysitter was a HiFi record<br />

player which I would dance to and<br />

listen to music all day long as a toddler.<br />

At the studio where I took lessons, they<br />

had an accordion band program which<br />

I joined at the age of 9. I was sent to<br />

compete in the American Guild of<br />

Music competitions with the band, and<br />

playing solos. I started winning many<br />

awards until I graduated high school. In<br />

5 th grade I was introduced to the band<br />

program and wanted to learn the<br />

trumpet. We did not have a lot of<br />

money so my mother said that I could<br />

play my grandfather’s clarinet. We<br />

discovered that it was an A clarinet and

not a B flat clarinet that was taught in the<br />

schools. Mom would only let me play the<br />

A clarinet because we couldn’t afford<br />

another instrument. That was a decision<br />

that would come back to haunt me later<br />

in life.<br />

When I turned 15, I joined a polka band<br />

and played in all the area Polish festivals<br />

and lots of weddings. I did this for 12 years<br />

into adulthood. At 17 I started giving<br />

accordion lessons to beginners. Music<br />

was such an important part of my life, I<br />

wanted nothing more than to play. I went<br />

to the local community college to study<br />

music to become a public school<br />

teacher. I discovered while being there<br />

that they did not accept the accordion<br />

as an instrument in their programs so I had<br />

to learn piano. Again, my parents were<br />

adamant that they could not afford<br />

another instrument.<br />

My professor saw that I was a natural at music theory and ended up having a conference with<br />

my parents and convinced them that I should take piano lessons so I could be admitted in a<br />

program. They bought me a used piano and at 18 I began piano lessons. During those first years<br />

I needed extra money to get me through college so I applied to be a cashier at Kmart so that I<br />

could afford a car to get me back and forth to school. Jobs were scarce at that time, and that<br />

was the only job opening that I saw. I was told by the HR department that men could not be<br />

cashiers, only women could. I ended up filing a grievance with the Kmart Corp. threatening to<br />

file a lawsuit. I was being discriminated against for being a man. My best friend’s father was vice<br />

president of the company and when he found out, he worked with the company to change the<br />

policy. This was my beginning as an activist.<br />

45<br />

Because they were forced to hire me, the<br />

managers in the store were unhappy with the<br />

situation and kept doing things to me to make me<br />

quit. They made me give up my teaching job,<br />

because it was “moonlighting.” They would pull me<br />

off the cash register and make me do things such<br />

as clean the grease traps in the kitchen, and even<br />

scrub down the bathrooms and paint them.<br />

Eventually they fired me and I filed a grievance<br />

with the labor relations board, won, and received<br />

immediate unemployment. In the meantime,<br />

because of all the energy that I had spent fighting<br />

them in work, my studies suffered and I dropped<br />

out of school.<br />

Being a musician was most important to me so I<br />

started to teach music privately again and<br />

established the Great Lakes Regional Contest for<br />

the American Guild of Music, a contest I am still in<br />

charge of today. I eventually went back to school<br />

and received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Music<br />

Education. Another thing that I did while in early

adulthood was leave the polka band and go on the staff at a big accordion school and play<br />

in their 40 piece accordion band. This band would win national titles and we would tour Europe<br />

every other summer and play in big concert halls, churches and piazzas. This is where I first<br />

became a global citizen. We would stay in people’s homes and youth hostels and made<br />

friends with other accordionists from around the world.<br />

I was running the music contests and expanded them from 100 students in the first contest to<br />

2100 students that would come from all over the Great Lake states. After my first contest, I was<br />

elected to the board of directors of American Guild of Music (AGM) and ran their contests<br />

around the eastern half of the USA. I have been doing that for 42 years and became their<br />

executive director 5 years ago. At the same time as my involvement in AGM I grew my student<br />

base from 25 students a week to 125 in private and group lessons and went back to school to<br />

earn a degree so that I could go on to get a Masters degree in Arts Administration.<br />

While I was working on my bachelors, I<br />

met my husband Richard and gave up<br />

the dream of the masters in Arts<br />

Administration to stay with him and<br />

concentrate on my students and the<br />

music contests. I ended up getting a<br />

masters in Multimedia and<br />

Communications instead when he had his<br />

first assignment in mid-Michigan. In 2006<br />

he was transferred to Zurich so I gave up<br />

my music studio and created an online<br />

registration process for the contest so that<br />

I could continue to run the contests while<br />

living abroad. Thus I would come back to<br />

the USA every three months and run three<br />

contests a year and visit family at the<br />

same time. Whilst abroad I studied the<br />

music of Switzerland and France. Now in<br />

Cincinnati I sing in the Cincinnati Men’s<br />

Chorus, and play 23 gigs a year with the<br />

accordion band “Squeeze Play” where<br />

we play in nursing homes, retirement<br />

centers and various Oktoberfests. I also<br />

teach a handful of students the piano.<br />

We plan to retire in 4 years, travel in the Airstream and take cruises and travel the world. I have<br />

taken my accordion with me on the camping trips and performed at the campsites with other<br />

musicians and on a recent cruise to Alaska, I joined the cruise choir and entered the Voice of<br />

the Ocean competition where I made it all the way to the finals. I would expect that I would do<br />

more of the same in the years to come.<br />

Music unites us: We can differ politically, economically and culturally and it has the power to<br />

heal us. I can go into the room, not speaking the same language – but still communicate<br />

through music. I have a yearning to learn about other cultures because of this. My music is my<br />

legacy – I am most proud of how I have touched and shaped thousands of young people’s<br />

lives through my teaching and administration of the AGM music contests. Students reach out to<br />

me via Facebook or they return to the contests and tell me how important that I was in their<br />

lives and helped make them successful. I am proud of having achieved 50 years of<br />

membership in the AGM, something that only 3 other people have done in its 117 year history. I<br />

am also extremely proud that I am the longest serving person at the head of the organization.<br />


I am currently the 1 st VP of FAUSA which<br />

means I organize all communications for<br />

FAUSA and annual meeting production.<br />

FAWCO offers me the opportunity to meet<br />

and network with other global citizens like<br />

me and FAWCO helps empower women,<br />

not only US citizens but underprivileged<br />

women around the world. The foundation<br />

work is very important and that empowers<br />

me to remain a part of FAWCO even<br />

though I have been back in the USA for<br />

almost 10 years now.<br />

Pieces of music I recommend/love<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Anything Depeche Mode.<br />

Anything Beethoven as I have always<br />

related to his compositions and<br />

admired that he wrote most of them<br />

as a deaf man.<br />

Any polka.<br />

French musette music especially “Retour Des<br />

Hirondelles.“<br />

To sing – “Love Don’t Need a Reason” or any<br />

Broadway standard.<br />


Tell us something interesting about yourself<br />

that not many people know. I am on the<br />

national board of directors of the Human<br />

Rights Campaign and have worked over 27<br />

years with this organization, helping to raise<br />

over 3 million dollars to fight discrimination for<br />

GLBTQ people in the USA and around the<br />

USA. The flame to stand up and fight for my<br />

rights and the rights of others started in school<br />

where I was constantly bullied and almost<br />

raped in the gym locker room for being who I<br />

am. Because it happened to me, I have<br />

always stood up for those who are bullied and<br />

abused. At an early age I discovered that<br />

women were not treated equally and I never<br />

understood that. I have always looked at us<br />

as humans with no differences.<br />

If you could perform with one group of<br />

musicians who would they be? Hands down I<br />

would love to meet Depeche Mode and<br />

perform with them. They have been my go-to<br />

group since the 80s. I find their music is<br />

infectious, singable and very danceable and<br />

also avant-garde.<br />

The most unusual place I have performed or<br />

listened to music was… The most unusual<br />

place I have performed was for a dance for<br />

deaf people. We had to turn our speakers<br />

and amplifiers down on the floor. The room<br />

was utter quiet when we were not playing.<br />

But when we would start playing the<br />

attendees would dance to the vibrations of<br />

the sound. That performance made me open<br />

my eyes that a handicap does not and should<br />

not hold you back and made me appreciate<br />

those less fortunate than me.<br />

What are some of the things you would love to<br />

get better at and things you would like to stop<br />

doing? Getting rid of the musician messiness<br />

and artistic never being absolutely happy with<br />

each creation. I would like to stop<br />

procrastinating.<br />


A Letter to My Master Teacher<br />

48<br />

Dear Professor:<br />

How are you, and your children (all grown up by now)?<br />

I hope, well. I am doing fine. I still live in France with my<br />

husband Jean. We have three children – a 14-year-old girl,<br />

and two boys, 7 and 9. It has been 23 years since you gave<br />

me my last piano lesson. Can you believe that? So much has<br />

changed in our world since then: I just “googled” you and<br />

printed out your Wikipedia article. Imagine that!<br />

You are probably wondering why I am writing you now.<br />

Well, among other things, I am working hard to complete a<br />

project required to receive my TEFL (Teaching English as a<br />

Foreign Language) certificate. Its title is: “Writing your<br />

Learning Memoirs: Learning to write English by reflecting on<br />

the ‘Master Teachers’ who have inspired your past learning.”<br />

As part of the project, I am writing my own Learning<br />

Memoirs. You are one of my “Master Teachers,” and I want<br />

to express this in a personal letter.<br />

From time to time, little events trigger my memory of the two years I spent at the university<br />

as a Piano Performance major. For me, that time transcended everyday life for I was<br />

completely fulfilled in body, mind, heart and soul.<br />

Of course, my soul was happiest my wedding day and the day my first child was born.<br />

And there was the summer I spent serving God in the Peloponnesus in Greece, where I slept in<br />

a whitewashed bungalow 20 meters from the beach with 15 teenagers and a fellow counsellor,<br />

and we woke to a ringing Church bell and the scent of bougainvillea wafting through the<br />

morning breeze. For my body, there is the happiness of first love such as I once felt for a young<br />

soldier, holding on to his waist and riding down the highway, my hair streaming behind me,<br />

ending up at an empty beach in late afternoon to discuss poetry and what it takes to be<br />

happy, before swimming and diving through the rocks and then hugging each other as the sun<br />

set. My mind was ecstatic when in the depth of my master degree’s tripartite business/<br />

international studies/languages curriculum. And my heart is at peace in the arms of my<br />

husband and with the soft touch of my children. Yet the dedication to musical and personal<br />

learning, beauty and passion, self-discovery and sharing with other musicians, which took place<br />

at the university, for me, fulfilled all of me at the same time – it fell just under the spiritual.<br />

Professor, there is something I have<br />

wanted to tell you for quite some time<br />

now: You played an important role in<br />

my personal growth. I saw you every<br />

Monday in Performance Class and<br />

once a week for a private lesson. You<br />

would gently ask me to play the pieces<br />

that I had been working on, and you<br />

would then venture respectful, at times<br />

even tender, feedback, with<br />

suggestions for dealing with difficult<br />

passages and interpretation, and<br />

compliments on my playing when<br />

merited. I felt free to ask you questions,<br />

penetrating questions, and until my

appetite had been satiated, and you patiently responded, with your heart and mind, sharing all<br />

that you had experienced. Your stable personality and honest outlook on life assured me that<br />

you would tell the truth and never make fun of my efforts.<br />

As any piano teacher and student know, the relationship is tight. The student is exposing her<br />

innermost self to the teacher, who in turn has the responsibility to take this seriously and in the<br />

spirit of confidentiality and trust. To attain this, the teacher must also expose his vulnerabilities.<br />

Music school was the prelude to the fugue that is my life. And among the talented professors at<br />

the university who opened the world of music up to me ‒ Piano Pedagogy, Music History,<br />

Conducting, Modern Dance, Music Theory and Ear Training, and Piano Performance – you were<br />

the one who gave me the most.<br />

Professor, you may remember me as an academically confident and socially self-assured<br />

young 20-something. You certainly would also recall my insecurity where my talent as a pianist<br />

was concerned. Either I doomed myself from the start by comparing myself to the more<br />

technically gifted pianists at the University, or I had a harshly realistic understanding of my<br />

limitations and strengths and judged that they would fall short. I remember a time when this<br />

insecurity actually paralysed me. The final exam in Piano Pedagogy instructed us to write an<br />

essay about our hypothetical rise as a concert pianist by describing the pedagogical influences<br />

that had allowed this to happen. I was incapable of letting my imagination run free because I<br />

was somehow afraid I’d be publicly accused of telling lies if I were to imagine myself as a great<br />

pianist. I remember this clearly because at this time in my life, I wished more than anything else<br />

to be a world-class pianist.<br />

Remember the day I asked<br />

you if we could talk about my<br />

future? We agreed that I would<br />

make us a picnic lunch, and we<br />

would eat outside. I think we ate<br />

shrimp salad sandwiches, and I<br />

think it was April. I recall passing<br />

your wife in the hallway, just<br />

before meeting you, and how<br />

lucky I thought she was to be<br />

spending her life with you – with<br />

your kind way and brilliant mind –<br />

and she told me that she hoped I<br />

would find your advice helpful.<br />

That day I had Rainer Maria<br />

Rilke and his “First Letter to a<br />

Young Poet” on my mind. I<br />

quote: “There is only one thing<br />

you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it<br />

has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would<br />

have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of<br />

your night: must I write?” Of course, my question was, “must I be a pianist?” To be honest, I knew<br />

that I was too weak and cowardly and scared to answer this in the affirmative. But I wished that I<br />

could have.<br />

We met at your piano studio and walked out to the front steps of the music building and<br />

sat near one of the white columns, and you asked me what I wanted from life…. I told you lots of<br />

things, the desire to go abroad, study other subjects, and to keep music in my life. I didn’t ask<br />

you point blank whether or not I could “make it as a pianist.” Maybe I should have. I know now I<br />

could have. Of course, I could have. There are many ways to be a pianist. I wouldn’t have had<br />

to be a concert pianist or a university piano professor ‒ I could have been a teacher like I am<br />

now, happily teaching piano, but a finer performer and a more knowledgeable musician.<br />


Today I write my learning memoirs to find out if I am a writer. Unlike 23 years ago, my<br />

question is not, “do you think I can make it as a writer?” I don’t need to ask you, Professor, or<br />

anyone else, because I now understand Rilke, and in my most silent hour of the night, I know I<br />

must write. The saddest thing for me would be to die before I got to write. And so I write.<br />

What I realize now is that what I love even more than the piano is self-expression. Piano<br />

allowed me to express my emotions. Today, I teach piano, but I no longer practice and perform<br />

difficult pieces. With my limited free time it cannot be a priority. I am addicted to the piano<br />

teacher/student relationship. I still find it to be incredibly fulfilling, no matter which end you are<br />

on. For various reasons, I have turned to writing as my self-expression. It is really all the same, just<br />

the techniques are different.<br />

Professor, my mind has always found the most precious gift to be those interactions with<br />

great and sensitive minds. Thank you for having made yours available to me. As you can see, it<br />

has made a difference. I will be forever grateful.<br />

With my warmest wishes always, Your Student<br />

Jane Mobille is an ICF Professional Certified Coach, as well as a facilitator, editor, writer, and pianist.<br />

Previously, she had a 10-year career in telecommunications and as many again in music. Jane runs a<br />

coaching practice for individuals and organizations representing a diversity of ages, cultures, and<br />

professions. She is a member of AAWE, serving as editor of its quarterly magazine. She also authors a<br />

"Teen Coach" column at online magazine INSPIRELLE. Jane and her French husband have a 24-yearold<br />

daughter, and two teenage sons.<br />

“I feel like B sides<br />

(of records) are<br />

always better, no<br />

matter whose<br />

record it is.”<br />



Germany: Musical Theater Brought to Life<br />


American International <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of<br />

Cologne, Germany<br />

From: Bavaria, raised in Ludwigshafen, Germany<br />

Lives: Cologne, Germany<br />

I grew up in Ludwigshafen/Rhein as my parents’ only<br />

child. My family loved classical music, but no one really<br />

played an instrument or sang, except for my Dad’s<br />

mother, who was a pianist by training, even though she<br />

never performed. My Mom has a beautiful voice, but it<br />

took her decades and a lot of persuasive work from my<br />

part for her to finally use it and join a choir; she’s 80 now<br />

and still sings in it.<br />

As a teenager I taught myself how to play guitar when I<br />

realized that I liked American folk, rock and blues much<br />

more than Mozart (I still like playing an occasional<br />

Chopin nocturne on the piano though). After someone<br />

told me I sounded like her, Joan Baez became my great<br />

role model and I would copy her singing style for a while.<br />

This didn’t prevent me from joining a delirious punk band with the ineffable name “Agent<br />

Orange,” but that's what you do when you're 17 and in love. Later with my rock band,<br />

“Limelight,” we would play original songs with 70s-inspired, seemingly endless guitar solos and<br />

funny keyboard sounds. But we had great gigs and critics would rave about our philosophical<br />

lyrics, interesting sound effects and “Krissy’s soothing voice that made some girls stare dreamily<br />

into the void." Yes, I know. I’m only quoting the local newspaper.<br />

It was after getting my translator's degree and moving to Munich with the love of my life, who<br />

became my husband, that I discovered musical theater through a local dance school. While<br />

starting my business as a literary translator, I also started taking voice lessons with Bruno<br />

Hetzendorfer, cabaret performer and former opera singer with a poignant dark Vienna humor.<br />

Bruno not only taught me how to breathe properly and find my own unique sound; he<br />

also introduced me to tons of beautiful<br />

show tunes. Last but not least, he built<br />

my confidence by inviting me to<br />

perform in some of his shows and sing<br />

backing vocals on his album.<br />

By some mysterious coincidence I got<br />

cast in the first ever and only German<br />

professional production of “Annie,” for<br />

the ensemble and the anonymous role<br />

of the Star-To-Be who gets to step out of<br />

the crowd to sing a soaring solo –<br />

a successful debut for me, but sadly,<br />

back then musical theater wasn’t that<br />

big of a thing in Germany, and even<br />

though I lost my heart to it, I couldn’t<br />

quite pursue the path to Broadway.<br />


Instead, another classical voice<br />

teacher and a jazz band crossed<br />

my path. Soprano Ulrike Belician<br />

gave me a glimpse of what it<br />

means to train a voice for the<br />

opera stage. My voice actually<br />

grew big, voluminous, and<br />

operatic. Much to my teacher’s<br />

dislike, I sang in a jazz cover band<br />

called “Acidophilic” that played a<br />

variety of music called acid jazz<br />

combining elements of jazz, soul,<br />

funk and disco. Astoundingly, what<br />

seemed contradictory actually<br />

worked together nicely and made<br />

me realize that the human voice is<br />

one of the most versatile instruments that can be trained to produce many different sounds.<br />

My husband hadn’t even quite finished his PhD in Munich when he got a job offer that required<br />

us to relocate to the Rhineland. I agreed, on the condition that we would settle down in<br />

Cologne downtown as I had got to love the big city life. After relocating to Cologne and<br />

pursuing my translating career, I got cast in a musical theater revue show, “Nights On<br />

Broadway,” an ongoing professional production that kept me busy for three seasons, performing<br />

everything from “Fame” to “Phantom of the Opera” and, yay, “On My Own” from Les<br />

Misérables. Meanwhile, I continued to study voice with a renowned teacher from the Folkwang<br />

School of Performing Arts in Essen, Noel Turner, who helped me refine my sound and build a<br />

larger repertoire.<br />

I've always enjoyed singing in bands because I love watching people respond to my music and<br />

interacting with the audience. When I got the opportunity to join the “Joe Cool Band” and their<br />

disco-funk project “King James & the Royal Family,” I didn’t hesitate. Performing and touring with<br />

these guys was a great experience and worked well, even after I had my daughter Hannah and<br />

went into the mom business (writing, recording and performing kids’ pop songs with Hannah).<br />

At some point though, I got bored of singing other people’s music and decided to start my own<br />

singer/songwriter project. I wrote a set of songs, played gigs in clubs and neighborhood cafés<br />

and found a producer for my song “Babylon.” Meanwhile, I continued to further my vocal<br />

studies, taking a master class in musical theater with teachers from the Stella Academy in<br />

Hamburg, a master class in the<br />

new Estill Voice Training, a song<br />

writing class and more. During<br />

that phase, I started teaching<br />

students and found this to be a<br />

very fulfilling experience.<br />

52<br />

And then we packed our bags<br />

again and moved to San<br />

Francisco. Singing and making<br />

music have always been the<br />

things in my life that kept my<br />

boat afloat, but the move to<br />

California took my musical<br />

career to a whole new level. The<br />

San Francisco Bay Area<br />

welcomed me with a vibrant<br />

and diverse scene of music,

theater and cabaret that seemed to be waiting just for me. I got cast in musical theater shows<br />

and ended up doing a series of revue shows in San Francisco with a new company<br />

named “John Bisceglie Presents.” Getting to work with so many like-minded supertalented<br />

people made it easy to be creative and productive. I had the privilege to be a founding<br />

member of Dominic Lim’s “NovAntiqua,” a vocal ensemble based in Oakland, CA, consisting of<br />

some of the most sought-after musicians in the area. Eventually, I started to put my own shows<br />

together, in an iconic piano bar in San Francisco, Martuni’s, under the wings of drag artist and<br />

trained baritone Vanessa Bousay, who had become my dear friend and mentor.<br />

Before long, I took a liking to producing shows on a bigger scale and created “To California with<br />

Love,” a fundraiser concert for the Hemophilia Foundation of Northern California that took place<br />

in May 2016 in Lafayette, CA, including twelve performers, two pianists and a cello player, and a<br />

slideshow. I picked the music, picked the cast and<br />

crew, the music director, wrote the script, and<br />

performed in almost every number. Many of our<br />

friends came to see the show, and I got the feeling I<br />

was able to give them something lasting and<br />

memorable, the essence of the time we got to<br />

spend together.<br />

While living in California, I took lessons with a former<br />

opera singer from the East Coast, Loree Capper,<br />

who helped me keep my voice safe and sound and<br />

let it grow with all the singing. Working with her and<br />

studying her unique teaching approach made me<br />

want to pick up my teaching career.<br />

In 2017 I started a three-year diploma course in a<br />

groundbreaking new vocal technique called<br />

“Complete Vocal Technique” (CVT) in the beautiful<br />

town of Copenhagen, Denmark, that is based on<br />

science and designed for all singers, no matter the<br />

genre or style. Now that my daughter is almost on<br />

her way to college, my goal is to pick up teaching<br />

voice and establish myself as a CVT teacher/<br />

coach. Of course, I also want to continue<br />

performing – with the new projects that I started this year – an original band named “Sonic99”<br />

and an acoustic jazz/pop guitar duo). I’d love to sing in a small vocal ensemble and I want to<br />

put little cabaret shows on stage, just myself and a pianist and maybe a duet partner for a<br />

couple songs, just like I did in California.<br />

I grew up with classical music, and I’m grateful for this solid base and background. However, I<br />

never really felt at home in classical singing. To express myself vocally I needed rhythmical music;<br />

my first influences were American protest singers, such as Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, the 70s rock<br />

and blues bands such as Deep Purple and The Doors, who were already considered as “oldies”<br />

in the 80s, but very popular in Germany at the time. To this day, I love checking out different<br />

genres and new music, and I am a great fan of contemporary artists such as Ed Sheeran or<br />

Alicia Keys.<br />

Ironically, I had to leave the home country of classical music not only to appreciate my musical<br />

roots but also to find a bunch of talented vocalists to share them with. It was in the US that I<br />

realized that my classical upbringing and training had had more impact on my musicality than I<br />

thought. I actually started to perform not only classical super hits like “Pie Jesu” or the<br />

“Flower Duet” from Lakmé, but also Schubert and Strauss art songs, and dared include them into<br />

my cabaret programs. Today, more than ever, I am convinced that music is about story telling<br />


and sharing feelings, no matter the<br />

genre or style. It seems like the stint in<br />

California has made my musical career<br />

come full circle.<br />

I always thought that the joy of music is<br />

universal, and I still do, but I was<br />

surprised to see that there are definitely<br />

different ways of experiencing it in<br />

other parts of the world. I never liked<br />

the German concept of dividing music<br />

into “serious” and “entertaining,”<br />

implying that “entertaining” is somehow<br />

of lesser value. Shouldn’t music always<br />

be entertaining? Isn’t there serious work<br />

behind every show, even if it looks seemingly effortless and easy going? American musical<br />

theater is appreciated and loved for both being seriously hard and entertainingly light.<br />

I love that about it.<br />

Pieces of music I recommend/love<br />

Any song from the musical Les Misérables because it’s an epic piece of music about the<br />

eternal human struggle and universal values.<br />

“Diamonds & Rust” by Joan Baez; I’ve learned to play the beautiful guitar picking a long<br />

time ago and have loved to sing this song ever since.<br />

“Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, one of the most<br />

inspiring songs I’ve ever heard. For me, it represents<br />

everything I love about America.<br />

“Who Wants to Live Forever” by Queen: if there’s a song<br />

that brings me to tears in a second it’s this one. And<br />

sometimes everyone needs a good cry.<br />

I used “Super Girl” by Reamonn in the soundtrack for a<br />

video about my daughter when she was little. She will<br />

always be my super girl.<br />


Tell us something interesting about yourself that<br />

not many people know. I dislike buttons with a<br />

passion. Any buttons. Some call it<br />

buttonphobia. It’s a thing. I googled it.<br />

If you could meet one musician, who would it<br />

be? I would love to meet James Taylor. He<br />

seems to be not only an accomplished<br />

musician but also a wonderful person. I<br />

imagine it would be amazing to sing and play<br />

music with him in his barn studio, harmonize to<br />

his beautiful songs and maybe create<br />

something new together. Other than that, I’m<br />

not that attracted by stardom; I have sung with<br />

incredibly talented people who weren’t<br />

famous, and got just as many goosebumps<br />

doing so.<br />

The most unusual place I have performed or<br />

listened to music was… a Holy Mary grotto in<br />

the middle of the forest when my godson was<br />

being christened. I sang “Summertime”<br />

accompanied by an old friend and cogodparent.<br />

It was a very special and spiritual<br />

experience for me.<br />

If we looked in your purse/wallet/pocket what<br />

three things would we find that would tell us<br />

something about you? A single dollar bill folded<br />

Origami-style into a bird reminding me of a<br />

very happy family trip to Hawaii; our wedding<br />

Bible verses on a handwritten paper note from<br />

our actual wedding day; an Apple SIM card<br />

ejector pin; a membership card for my favorite<br />

dance studio in Cologne.<br />


Belgium: Regular Season Tickets<br />


American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of Antwerp, Belgium<br />

From: Belgium<br />

Lives: Antwerp, Belgium<br />

55<br />

I grew up in a small town in Flanders, Belgium. I was<br />

born to a Dutch father and a Belgian mother. We were<br />

a family of four children, two boys and two girls. I was<br />

the second oldest.<br />

I had a very close relationship with my parents and<br />

siblings. We lived in a house with a big garden and we<br />

played outside most of the time when we were home.<br />

My parents were passionate about classical music and<br />

we grew up listening to baroque music and opera.<br />

When I was eight, I started playing the piano. At<br />

sixteen I stopped and became interested in listening to<br />

classical music by the best performers and enjoyed<br />

comparing different interpretations of each piece.<br />

I left home to study in Ghent to become a translator. The years in Ghent were “student” years,<br />

and because of this, music was less present in my everyday life. I met my husband William when<br />

I was a student. After graduating, we got married and moved to Brussels. The city offered a<br />

large choice of classical music concerts and is home to the opera house De Munt/La Monnaie.<br />

We were happy to have season tickets to the opera house. Gerard Mortier was the director at<br />

that time. He went on to become a leading opera director at different opera houses in the<br />

world, such as the Salzburger Festspiele and the Paris<br />

Opéra La Bastille.<br />

Ten years later, we moved to Antwerp. Antwerp also<br />

has a lot to offer. One of our favorite places is AMUZ,<br />

a beautiful concert venue specializing in top-notch<br />

performances of early music. AMUZ is located in a<br />

beautiful baroque church in downtown Antwerp.<br />

My husband and I take at least one music class a<br />

year. Most recently, we did courses on Beethoven<br />

and Bach. Learning about music teaches you about<br />

the composers and how to better understand the<br />

music by analyzing it, listening to different<br />

performances and comparing them. It is very<br />

interesting to see how opinions vary. We also love<br />

going to live concerts. There are so many choices<br />

today, and I think it’s the best way to listen to and<br />

enjoy music.<br />

My first musical influences were my parents. They<br />

listened to classical music, mainly from the baroque

and classical periods, as well as opera almost daily. When I was sixteen, my parents took me to<br />

Bruges to a live performance of the opera Il Trovatore, written by my favorite opera composer,<br />

Verdi. It made a lasting impression on me, and since then I have adored opera. In addition, I love<br />

all classical music between the fifteenth and the nineteenth centuries. Beyond that period, most<br />

music is too “modern” for me. But my taste in music has changed over the years. When I was<br />

very young, I listened to romantic composers such as Brahms. Now I focus mainly on music<br />

dating from before the mid-nineteenth century.<br />

I have been surprised in the last twenty years how classically educated performers mix popular<br />

and classical music, resulting in performances in huge halls. It all means that there is a much<br />

bigger choice of live music compared to when I was younger.<br />

Music enriches life. It broadens perspectives and fosters the desire to discover more about the<br />

person who created the music as<br />

well as the country he or she lived<br />

in. Music is influenced by society<br />

and the time period when it is<br />

written. Music expands horizons,<br />

making you interested in so much<br />

more than music. I am a<br />

perfectionist by nature, and<br />

through music this feeling has<br />

increased; I will always seek out<br />

and listen to top performances in<br />

top venues. I hope to have<br />

inspired others to listen to classical<br />

music and to become as<br />

passionate about it as I am. It<br />

makes life so much richer. I have<br />

inspired my daughter: she has<br />

played the violin since she was<br />

four years old and she is working in<br />

a classical music concert hall in Antwerp.<br />

Pieces of music I recommend/love<br />

Violin Concerto in D Major, op. 62 (Yehudi Menuhin, violin): Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-<br />

1827). The concerto premiered in Vienna in 1806. It took Beethoven only six weeks to<br />

compose. It is a lyrical masterpiece of great creativity that clearly exceeded the genre’s<br />

boundaries. The solo part becomes more and more impressive towards the end. It is a<br />

unique piece of music.<br />

Piano Concerto no. 5 (Emperor), in E flat Major, op. 73 (Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli,<br />

piano): Ludwig van Beethoven. This is one of five piano concertos by Beethoven; all are<br />

very beautiful. They were composed between 1793 and 1809, a fairly short time in<br />

Beethoven’s compositional career. The Fifth Piano Concerto, also called Emperor, is<br />

splendidly worked out and is a very inspiring piece. Beethoven created a new relationship<br />

between the piano and the orchestra. In Beethoven’s piano concertos, the soloist plays a<br />

far more important role than in, for example, Mozart piano concertos.<br />

Double Concerto for Violin in E Major BWV 1042-1043 (David and Igor Oistrakh, violin):<br />

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Bach shows us heaven.<br />

Impromptus D 899 and D 935 (Krystian Zimerman, piano) Franz Schubert (1797-1828). In my<br />

opinion, these pieces are among the most brilliant and moving ever composed for a piano.<br />

Orfeo: Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643). Monteverdi was an Italian composer; his opera<br />

Orfeo is considered to be the first opera ever composed. The Italian Renaissance was<br />

coming to an end when Monteverdi composed Orfeo. It is a work of great intensity and<br />

drama and is one of my favorite operas.<br />



Tell us something interesting about yourself<br />

that not many people know. I have the idea to<br />

help out as a volunteer in an orphanage for<br />

children in Africa or maybe to work on the<br />

Mercy Ships one day.<br />

If you could meet one musician, who would it<br />

be? I would like to meet Arturo<br />

Benedetti Michelangeli (1920-1995).<br />

He is my all time favorite pianist.<br />

Unfortunately, I never heard him in<br />

a live performance. He was an<br />

Italian pianist and he was very<br />

refined in his playing. I would like<br />

him to play “Ballade no 1, op. 23”<br />

as well as “Andante Spianato” and<br />

“Grande Polonaise Brilliante op.<br />

22,” all composed by Frédéric<br />

Chopin (1810-1849).<br />

where I have listened to music was at the<br />

Arena di Verona in Italy. The venue is magical,<br />

especially in the evening. We went to see Aïda<br />

by Verdi. It was a high level performance,<br />

including a huge stage with live horses, but<br />

unfortunately, the acoustics were subpar and<br />

the music was lost.<br />

The most unusual place I have<br />

performed or listened to music<br />

was… The most unusual place<br />

Want to be sure you see the<br />

next issue of <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong><br />

as soon as it comes out?<br />

Click here to have it sent<br />

directly to your mailbox! Or<br />

scan the QR code.<br />


France: Vocal Jazz Parisian Style<br />

58<br />

I grew up in Boston, with a French mother and an<br />

American father. My earliest memory is of drifting off to<br />

sleep listening to my mother play Chopin and Schubert<br />

on the piano. There was always music in our house. I<br />

played the cello and my brother and sister also studied<br />

music. My mother listened exclusively to classical music,<br />

and my father listened to jazz. When I discovered Joni<br />

Mitchell, I listened to her music obsessively, while my<br />

brother listened to rock.<br />

In my later teen years and when I moved to NY for<br />

college, I focused more on dance than on music. After<br />

college, I worked as a dancer and runway model for<br />

many years, during which music was mostly something to<br />

listen or dance to.<br />

Then in 1980, I moved to Paris for 6 months to model and stayed paying for 12 years of storage in<br />

NYC, before finally going through my boxes of college essays and shampoo, and shipping what I<br />

really wanted to keep to France.<br />

As my sons were growing up and I was trying to decide what I would do with the rest of my life, a<br />

friend brought me to a vocal jazz workshop. I was instantly hooked, and after a few years of<br />

evening classes, decided to seriously pursue music. I auditioned for professional music schools,<br />

where most of the students were not much older than my children (and when I ran into them<br />

outside the classroom, usually assumed I was a teacher), and studied vocal jazz, jazz harmony,<br />

arrangement and composition.<br />

I had already started my first<br />

band and was performing in<br />

jazz bars, but during that time I<br />

wrote my first songs and<br />

realized that songwriting wasn’t<br />

rocket science and was<br />

something I could actually do.<br />

It was a means of expression<br />

that felt incredibly organic,<br />

immediate and intimate to me.<br />

Performing my own songs<br />

changed the way I sing in a<br />

very profound way and I am<br />

always thrilled when people tell<br />

me my songs move them or<br />

make them think.<br />


Association of American <strong>Women</strong> in Europe,<br />

Paris<br />

From: Boston, MA<br />

Lives: Paris, France

My current band is guitar, cello and voice, very intimate and acoustic and it feels incredibly<br />

right for my music. I’m in the planning phase of a CD of my own songs. I now play regularly in<br />

some of the best jazz clubs in Paris and hope to start touring in other countries.<br />

I also teach voice and performance skills and lead frequent classes and workshops in Circle<br />

Songs (collective vocal improvisation). I’ve been fortunate to study with Bobby McFerrin,<br />

Rhiannon and many other<br />

incredible vocal improvisers. I<br />

work with professional singers,<br />

amateurs and people who have<br />

been told they can’t sing. I work<br />

with adults, children, teens,<br />

young people in college or<br />

masters programs, older people<br />

and business groups. It’s a<br />

powerful way to explore selfexpression,<br />

to gain confidence,<br />

to find one’s voice, to learn how<br />

one positions oneself in a group,<br />

to learn to take the lead yet be<br />

ready to drop it and follow<br />

someone else’s lead at any time,<br />

to learn deep listening skills, to<br />

feel seen and heard.<br />

My first musical influences were Chopin, Schubert, Leonard Bernstein - West Side Story, The<br />

Gershwins - Porgy and Bess, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers musicals, and Joni Mitchell and<br />

James Taylor. Then as I got older, I became fascinated by Soul Train and started listening to funk<br />

and soul. As a songwriter, Joni is certainly my biggest influence, along with other singersongwriters<br />

(James Taylor, Ricki Lee Jones, Suzanne Vega) and Celtic music. I still love all of the<br />

music cited above, and Joni is my go-to music when I’m sad, but I’ve been discovering country<br />

music recently and have found a few singers I really admire. I like to listen to jazz and Arvo Pärt,<br />

Gorecki, Samuel Barber and Philip Glass, and go to many concerts.<br />

Music is a universal language, spanning borders, creating connection and community<br />

throughout the world, without the barrier of spoken language. I find there’s also a spiritual<br />

aspect to songwriting and to collective improvisation, which nourishes me and brings joy and<br />

meaning to my life every day. Through my music I have discovered that I know how to create a<br />

safe space for people and I get deep satisfaction from creating that space and watching<br />

people blossom. I’m proud to say that today I work with amazing musicians and play in good<br />

jazz clubs.<br />

Pieces of music I recommend/love<br />

Joni Mitchell’s album Blue - because it has been my go-to music when I’m sad and/or<br />

pensive ever since I was 12 years old and still moves me deeply.<br />

West Side Story - which has been a part of my life as far back as I can remember and I<br />

absolutely love it.<br />

Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” and “Serenade for<br />

String Orchestra,” because they’re so beautiful. I’ve listened<br />

to them hundreds of times and will hundreds more.<br />

“Alina” by Arvo Pärt because it makes me dream.<br />

The songs “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye, “Brick House”<br />

by The Commodores and “Renaissance” by Al di Meola,<br />

Jean Luc Ponty and Stanley Clarke, because they make<br />

me want to dance.<br />



Tell us something interesting about yourself<br />

that not many people know. I worked for years<br />

as a backup dancer behind pop stars on<br />

French TV shows at the same time as I was<br />

walking the runways for top designers in<br />

haute couture. It was quite contrast. And<br />

I got my start in modeling on roller skates!<br />

myself. I would love to be able to do that on<br />

the guitar.<br />

If you could meet one musician, who<br />

would it be? I would love to meet Joni<br />

Mitchell again. I spent an evening sitting<br />

next to her once when I was 22, but I<br />

was too young and self-conscious to<br />

dare say much to her. I would love to<br />

have another chance.<br />

What are some of the things you would<br />

love to get better at and things you<br />

would like to stop doing? I’d like to learn<br />

to play the guitar. I compose on the<br />

piano, but can’t accompany<br />

"You are born an<br />

artist,<br />

or you are not.<br />

And you stay an<br />

artist, dear,<br />

even if your voice<br />

is less of a<br />

fireworks.<br />

The artist is always<br />

there."<br />



If I were a musical instrument I would be...<br />

..a grand<br />

piano. I<br />

understand<br />

the<br />

instrument<br />

better than<br />

other instruments because I have<br />

played it myself. The timbre of a<br />

grand piano is bright and big. It is<br />

a fascinating instrument because<br />

you can play different notes at<br />

the same time. Many of the great<br />

composers were excellent<br />

pianists.<br />


..a cello. It’s still my favorite<br />

instrument….the one that moves me the<br />

most deeply, the one I chose to study<br />

when I was 8 and it’s said to be the<br />

instrument closest to the human voice. I<br />

love the sound it makes!<br />


..a singer because I feel like I AM a<br />

musical instrument myself as my<br />

whole body is involved in making<br />

sound.<br />


...a bass. On a<br />

cartoon in Milt<br />

Hinton's room it says,<br />

“You can tell he<br />

loves his bass<br />

because of the way<br />

he hugs it.”<br />


..my husband’s cello from now and<br />

then. I would put all my love to him in<br />

creating the most beautiful sound on<br />

his instrument to make him happy.<br />


..the french horn. It has the same lovely middle<br />

range as the viola but it is an orchestral solo<br />

instrument that embodies nobility and purity in<br />

warm tones that carry over any instrument. It<br />

has a beautiful design, very round, and is the<br />

bridge between the woodwinds and the brass<br />

in the orchestra. Chamber music is written for it<br />

in combination with both woodwind<br />

ensembles and brass ensembles. You can<br />

have your cake and eat it, too. The horn is<br />

never buried in the orchestral sound but soars<br />

above it filling<br />

the air with<br />

hope and<br />

beauty.<br />


TRAUT<br />

..the piano because it is the closet to the<br />

voice and I would be able to interpret so<br />

many<br />

melodies and<br />

play so many<br />

songs. Then<br />

the lyrics “I am<br />

music and I<br />

write the<br />

songs” would<br />

really be true.<br />



Germany: Life As A Viola Player<br />

I grew up in Hauppauge on Long Island, NY. My<br />

mom started taking piano lessons and I decided at<br />

two years old to climb onto the piano and try to<br />

play. I guess mom thought I had talent as I started<br />

lessons at three years old.<br />

In the second grade at elementary school, everyone<br />

got a hearing test and those with decent ears were<br />

offered instruments in the beginning of 3rd grade. I<br />

did score second highest in the school but as I was sick on selection day, there were only violins<br />

left to choose, so I started on violin. We had group lessons in school and played in orchestra but<br />

my mom also got me private lessons. I didn’t practice much as I was interested in everything and<br />

loved school, just couldn’t decide where to concentrate my energy.<br />

For a few years I attended the junior championship program at the Post Washington Tennis<br />

Academy and considered pursuing that professionally. Not wanting to leave high school early, I<br />

decided against it and suddenly music really hit me as important and I started practicing hard. I<br />

applied to the Manhattan School of Music pre-college program, graduated from high school<br />

and immediately went to my first summer music program at Bowdoin College.<br />

After Bowdoin, I moved to NYC and got a live-in job with an elderly lady that I cooked and<br />

shopped for and a part-time job at the gift shop at Lincoln Center. I also studied violin privately<br />

with Lewis Kaplan from Juilliard, whom I had studied with at Bowdoin, and practiced a lot. I<br />

noticed that practicing violin a lot was giving me a headache and the shakes but I persevered<br />

until I went back to Bowdoin and discovered the viola and started studying with Paul Doktor,<br />

which being in a lower register and having the bridge further away from my ears, did not cause<br />

me problems.<br />

In September I had an<br />

audition for Juilliard and was<br />

accepted. I moved into the<br />

Beacon Hotel near Juilliard<br />

with a fellow student and as I<br />

got no funds from my<br />

parents, got a job at Macy’s<br />

working 22.5 hours a week<br />

(weekends and evenings) to<br />

make ends meet. Having<br />

hardly any money for food, I<br />

got very skinny and sick but<br />

then found a patron through<br />

Juilliard, got a free place to<br />


American International <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of<br />

Düsseldorf, Germany<br />

From: New York, NY<br />

Lives: Solingen, Germany<br />


live in the Dakota in exchange for errands<br />

and shopping for a Professor of Radiology<br />

and author of textbooks. Dr. Squire was a<br />

fabulous woman ahead of her time and I<br />

am still grateful for her generosity. I worked<br />

hard, got more scholarships, and graduated<br />

with bachelor’s and master’s degrees.<br />

Summers I spent in Aspen, Los Angeles<br />

Philharmonic Institute, Yale at Norfolk and<br />

Tanglewood. I was invited to do a Juilliard<br />

Chamber Orchestra tour of South America<br />

and Juilliard Orchestra Tour of Europe.<br />

After finishing Juilliard, I was interested in<br />

returning to Europe, so I was invited to play<br />

with the Heidelberger Chamber Orchestra,<br />

a touring orchestra and so I alternated<br />

between NYC work and HCO. While I was in<br />

Europe, I played for any auditions that<br />

coincided with my being there, and ended<br />

up as assistant Principal of Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen. One year later I was Solo-<br />

Viola of Remscheider Symphoniker, now Bergische Symphoniker.<br />

Music is my life. I’ve been a member of different chamber music ensembles and this brings me<br />

the most joy but I like the security of a steady paying job. I’ve decided to step down as Solo-<br />

Viola (1st chair) to assistant solo (2nd chair). I’m still involved in playing chamber music,<br />

sometimes do charity concerts with Robin Goldsby and have played in various constellations for<br />

the elderly or sick. I’m always interested in new directions. I’ll try anything musically once. I still<br />

love my job after so many years and certain pieces still make me cry or give me goosebumps<br />

even after so many performances! I often feel healed by music, sometimes just by playing, other<br />

times by the feedback (verbal and nonverbal) from the audience. When I listen to music, I feel<br />

carried away to another dimension, floating in a calm but exciting paradise. In the best<br />

performances, I get “in the flow” and am very in the moment but also hearing and aware of a<br />

split second ahead of me to prepare to express the next moment. It is an awesome feeling and<br />

all consuming.<br />


I had several early musical<br />

influences: the recordings of<br />

Jascha Heifetz, Leonard Rose,<br />

my teacher Paul Doktor,<br />

beautiful players all. Also<br />

Leonard Bernstein, Felix<br />

Galamir, Juilliard and Tokyo<br />

String Quartets, all with whom I<br />

had the pleasure of working<br />

with are still inspiring. Today<br />

there are many more.<br />

Pieces of music I recommend/<br />

love<br />

Brahms 4th symphony<br />

because I played it with<br />

Lenny Bernstein and it<br />

was an unforgettable<br />

experience.<br />

Bartok Viola Concerto<br />

because I feel very connected to it. Mozart Marriage of Figaro opera, just an amazing<br />

piece, one beautiful melody after another and played<br />

with awesome singers in Spoleto.<br />

Beethoven String Quartet Opus 131, a marathon<br />

masterpiece that I played as a member of the<br />

Newberry String Quartet at Juilliard, such really<br />

wonderful memories.<br />

La Traviata because it always makes me cry.<br />

it<br />


Tell us something interesting about yourself<br />

that not many people know. Wynton Marsalis<br />

was in some of my classes and orchestra at<br />

Juilliard, I think he is one of the most brilliant<br />

people I’ve ever known but he is also a really<br />

nice guy.<br />

If you could meet one musician, who would it<br />

be? J.S. Bach, play his<br />

music with him and just<br />

listen to him play!<br />

The most unusual place I<br />

have performed or<br />

listened to music was…<br />

Performing Carmina<br />

Burana for the Royal<br />

family of UAE for their 30th<br />

anniversary in Abu Dhabi.<br />

Performing in my<br />

orchestra for Queen<br />

Elizabeth and Prince Philip<br />

and having the Queen<br />

standing next to me to<br />

deliver her speech!<br />


Luxembourg: Bringing Joy Through Singing<br />

I grew up in Atlanta, GA, one of 8 children, so growing up<br />

was very interesting. It was impossible to have time to<br />

myself, so I learned very early to be an extrovert. Going to<br />

church was a big part of my life. It took me a while before I<br />

started to sing, but by the age of 10, I was singing in a<br />

young gospel choir.<br />

After finishing high school, I took the route of most abiding<br />

children and went to college to study computer science.<br />

After almost two years of studying, I knew I had to follow my<br />

heart, so I moved to New York City to study acting, singing<br />

and dance.<br />

After meeting my husband, he got an offer to come to Luxembourg for work. It was a very<br />

difficult decision for me, as my career was starting to show some promise. After a lot of thought, I<br />

followed love. However, not long after moving to Luxembourg I found the entertainment scene<br />

and things took off from there. Becoming a mom changed my focus and passion for a while;<br />

however, now that my children are growing up, I can start to feel the itch to try again.<br />

I have always been a huge fan of gospel and soul singers so my first musical influences were<br />

people like Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, Bette Midler, Oleta Adams etc. The influences haven’t<br />

really changed over time; however, they have developed quite a bit. Over time, you learn to<br />

find your own voice and sound but my influences are still rooted in gospel and soul.<br />

I have learned over time that I<br />

should trust my voice and that<br />

it’s truly an instrument that needs<br />

to be taken care of and tuned.<br />

When you sing sometimes you<br />

get this out of body experience.<br />

You know you’re there, but you<br />

feel like you’re floating. It’s such<br />

a calming and warm feeling. I’m<br />

proud of the joy that I bring to<br />

people when I sing. When<br />

someone tells me that they had<br />

goosebumps after hearing me<br />

sing, it’s an incredibly humble<br />

feeling. In the music business<br />

today you don’t need to be a<br />

good or great singer; auto-tune<br />

is a miracle worker!<br />


American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of Luxembourg,<br />

Luxembourg<br />

From: Atlanta, GA<br />

Lives: Luxembourg<br />


Pieces of music I recommend/love<br />

Whitney Houston’s first CD.<br />

Teddy Pendergrass’s music.<br />

Kirk Franklin & family’s music.<br />

Adele’s music.<br />

Yolanda Adams’s music.<br />


Tell us something interesting about yourself<br />

that not many people know.<br />

I am a Luxembourg citizen.<br />

If you could perform with one musician, who<br />

would it be and what music would you like to<br />

play? I would have loved to perform with<br />

Whitney Houston. The song that I would have<br />

wanted to perform with her would have been<br />

“I Have Nothing.”<br />

The most unusual place I have performed or<br />

listened to music was… in Dubai. They built a<br />

stage that was in between their two towers<br />

and it was a bit scary in the beginning, but<br />

after a while, it was so fun.<br />

What are some of the things you would love to<br />

get better at and things you would like to stop<br />

doing? I would love to get better at my tennis<br />

game and I need to stop trying to help<br />

everyone (shhh, I do love being helpful<br />

though).<br />


Switzerland: In The Opera Chorus<br />


American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of Zurich, Switzerland<br />

From: Fort Covington, NY<br />

Lives: Zurich, Switzerland<br />

I grew up in Fort Covington, NY, which is on the<br />

Canadian border with Quebec. Montreal was the<br />

closest cultural center. I had a normal childhood filled<br />

with cold-weather sports and lots of music, as my<br />

mother taught piano. I played and sang from an early<br />

age, realizing that I had a mature voice when I was<br />

quite young. I had natural vibrato at around age 7. I<br />

also played trumpet. I belonged to various all-state<br />

choruses and bands, winning competitions and even<br />

going on a European Tour when I was 16, playing<br />

trumpet in the United States Collegiate Wind Band.<br />

I went to SUNY Oswego, majoring in Voice. I explored<br />

other types of music there, performing in musicals and<br />

jazz groups. I then went on to the New England<br />

Conservatory in Boston, where I received a master's degree in Voice. There I discovered my love<br />

for early (Baroque/Renaissance) music. I lived and worked in Boston for quite a few years<br />

afterward, honing my performance skills. I sang in the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston<br />

Baroque, and many other groups, both in the ensembles and as soloist. I eventually made my<br />

way to Zurich after a friend told me that there was a spot in the opera chorus. I still sing there, it is<br />

how I make my living, and when I'm not there, I have an active and busy solo career. I recently<br />

performed my "Best of Broadway," which is a two-woman show (my accompanist is another<br />

American who is also a lover of musicals), and sang as soloist in Vivaldi's Gloria with a wonderful<br />

Baroque orchestra.<br />

My plan is to stay here in Zurich until I retire - I have two teenagers who are in the Swiss school<br />

system. After that, when we move back to the States, I hope to get a college position and teach<br />

voice privately.<br />

My mom was my first, and biggest,<br />

musical influence. Later on, my<br />

individual voice teachers were my<br />

mentors, and some conductors<br />

(Christopher Hogwood comes to<br />

mind) were influential in terms of<br />

style. I have found that the great<br />

conductors, directors and other<br />

singers are all nice and helpful. The<br />

higher up their level, the more<br />

pleasant and helpful I find they are.<br />


For me good music is good music,<br />

regardless of the genre. When you<br />

perform from your heart, it doesn't matter<br />

if it's classical, musical, country or rock - as<br />

long as it's authentic. I have learned how<br />

to rise to any musical challenge that a<br />

director throws my way - singing in crazy<br />

costumes doing improbable things is part<br />

of the job description.<br />

Yesterday I went to see the West End<br />

show Let it Be and I cried quite a bit<br />

because music, when it is performed<br />

well, is evocative and takes us<br />

somewhere. This particular musical takes<br />

the audience back to the 60s and 70s. For<br />

most audience members, these years<br />

were our formative years, and we could<br />

laugh and cry at the various old<br />

commercials, etc. that were projected on<br />

the screens. But we also cried<br />

remembering John Lennon and George<br />

Harrison. When I listen to music, my heart<br />

is usually deeply touched that someone<br />

got up there in the first place (it's hard to do that!), and that someone is trying to communicate<br />

deep emotions with the audience. When I am performing, it's sort of the opposite, but onceremoved,<br />

as the performer needs to keep his or her "cool". As my voice teacher once said "it's<br />

not your job to cry. It's your job to make the audience cry.”<br />

As an expat, I have become very patriotic! So doing my solo concerts of American music is<br />

something I enjoy doing - I raised over 2,300 CHF at the last one, which I donated to my Club/<br />

Church charities.<br />

Pieces of music I recommend/<br />

love<br />

My recommended music would<br />

probably change daily, but today<br />

it would be:<br />

Mozart's C Minor Mass.<br />

Sondheim's Company.<br />

Eric Whitacre's “Sleep.”<br />

Purcell's “Hear my Cry Oh<br />

Lord.”<br />

Cold Swindell's “Break up in<br />

the End” - I am a huge<br />

Country fan!<br />



Tell us something interesting about yourself<br />

that not many people know. I am an avid and<br />

competitive bridge player, and I read the<br />

tarot cards.<br />

If you could perform with one musician, who<br />

would it be and what music would you like to<br />

play? Mozart, obviously. I would love to sing<br />

arias from The Marriage of Figaro, Cosi fan<br />

Tutti, and Idomeneo with him accompanying.<br />

The most unusual place I have performed or<br />

listened to music was… I guess I have<br />

performed in only conventional concert halls,<br />

but one of the most interesting was the Santa<br />

Fe Opera, which is an open-air theatre in the<br />

desert of New Mexico, and the sunset is visible<br />

through the back of the theatre. Another<br />

would be Theatre an der Wien, in Vienna,<br />

where Mozart conducted.<br />

What are some of the things you would love to<br />

get better at and things you would like to stop<br />

doing? I would like to get better at keeping<br />

my house clean! I would like to stop obsessing<br />

over my schedule.<br />

“If you copy, it means<br />

that you work without any<br />

real feeling. No two<br />

people are alike, and it’s<br />

got to be that way with<br />

music, or it isn’t music.”<br />



<strong>Inspiring</strong> You<br />

Founded in 1931, FAWCO is a global women’s NGO (Non-Governmental Organization), an<br />

international network of independent volunteer clubs and associations comprising 62<br />

member clubs in 31 countries worldwide, with a total membership of around 10,000. FAWCO<br />

serves as a resource and a voice for its members; seeks to improve the lives of women and<br />

girls worldwide, especially in the areas of human rights, health, education and the<br />

environment; advocates for the rights of US citizens overseas; and contributes to the global<br />

community through its Global Issues Teams and The FAWCO Foundation, which provides<br />

development grants and education awards. Since 1997, FAWCO has held special<br />

consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council.<br />


FAWCO is an international federation of independent organizations whose mission is<br />

• to build strong support networks for its American and international membership;<br />

• to improve the lives of women and girls worldwide;<br />

• to advocate for the rights of US citizens overseas; and<br />

• to mobilize the skills of its membership in support of global initiatives for education, the<br />

environment, health and human rights.<br />


We want this magazine to be interesting for all FAWCO members. In an<br />

effort to provide articles of interest to all of our readers, we have created<br />

an online feedback questionnaire. It should only take a few minutes of your<br />

time to complete and will be a great help to us!<br />

Please click on the link or paste it into your browser<br />

to complete the survey.<br />

https://s.surveyplanet.com/CEvBvdX_Ft<br />

Thanks very much indeed!<br />


FAWCO receives financial remuneration for page space from advertisers. Views expressed or<br />

benefits described in any display advertisement, advertorial or in any webpage visited online<br />

directly from these adverts, are not endorsed by FAWCO.<br />


More About This Issue<br />

For more information about this magazine, please contact <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> Editor in<br />

Chief Liz MacNiven at inspiringwomen.editor@fawco.org<br />

For more information on how to advertise in this magazine, please contact FAWCO<br />

Advertising and Sponsorship Manager Elsie Bose at advertising@fawco.org<br />


Thanks to Anita, Arnita, Beverly, Carol, Christine, Eleanor, Gwen, Katie, Kay, Krissy,<br />

Margaret, Marianne, Mieke, Paulette, Rick, both Robins and the ladies of AWC<br />

Gothenburg for taking the time to participate in this edition and for the use of their<br />

photos and those of their friends and family. Thanks to Jane for her letter.<br />

Special thanks to the proofreading team of Karen Boeker (AWC Denmark), Sallie<br />

Chaballier (AAWE Paris), Laurie Brooks (AWC Amsterdam/AWC The Hague), Janet<br />

Davis (AIWC Cologne), Mary Dobrian (AIWC Cologne), Cynthia Lehman (AIWC<br />

Cologne), Carol-Lyn McKelvey (AIWC Cologne/FAUSA) Mary Stewart Burgher (AWC<br />

Denmark) and Jenny Taylor (AIWC Cologne and Düsseldorf).<br />

The <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> Team at the FAWCO <strong>2018</strong> IM in The Hague<br />

Copyright <strong>2018</strong> FAWCO<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>© Magazine is owned and published electronically by FAWCO.<br />

All rights reserved. All bylined articles are copyright of their respective authors as indicated herein and<br />

are reproduced with their permission. The magazine or portions of it may not be reproduced in any form,<br />

stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means-electronic, mechanical,<br />

photocopy or otherwise without written consent of the publisher.<br />


Coming Next Spring!<br />

<strong>Women</strong> who Persist, Part 2<br />

"There is no limit to what we, as women,<br />

can accomplish."<br />

– Michelle Obama<br />

Our spring issue will present the profiles of a second set of women from our clubs who are<br />

walking the walk. Through their insistence and their persistence, they have set out to right<br />

a wrong, elevate justice and make the case for a better human condition. <strong>Women</strong>’s<br />

rights, children’s rights, poverty, hunger, health or the environment - there are challenges<br />

everywhere we look. The difference is that these women did not look away.<br />

We already have the candidates for this issue but we do need a fabulous cover photo.<br />

The process is simple...we need :<br />

Cover Page Image: This is a call to all our members who persist and make a change in<br />

this world. Perhaps you are involved in a community, at home or far away from home?<br />

Because you are so engaged in what you are convinced to be right and important, you<br />

must have taken pictures of the places or the people you are involved with. Please send<br />

me any picture you think could send a strong message to your fellow FAWCO members.<br />

Thank you!<br />

Photos need to be sent by March 28, 2019: Please send to Marie-Bénédicte Luxem,<br />

inspiringwomen.cover@fawco.org. They must be PORTRAIT orientation (landscape photos<br />

cannot be accepted), digital and color, 150-300 dpi quality and 5-10 MB max. and taken<br />

by a FAWCO member with details of where and when the photo was taken. (N.B.<br />

Accreditation will be given for photos used but no payment is possible.)<br />

REMEMBER ALSO: We offer great rates for FAWCO club members wishing to advertise in<br />

the magazine. Contact Elsie Bose: advertising@fawco.org<br />

Thanks to the Official Premier Sponsor of<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>:<br />


Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!