Ruth Ann and her husband started wintering in Surprise in 2012, finally moving to La Solana at The Grand in 2019. Then along came the pandemic. She finally got to experience “the awesome” Grand Singers during our 2022 Holiday concert and joined us for spring 2023.
Born and raised in Indiana, Ruth Ann sang with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra Chorus and with church choirs throughout her life. She accompanied high school vocalists and instrumentalists for the Indiana State School Music Association; high school choir concerts, and a total of 27 high school and community theater musical productions.
She says she has been reading music since her earliest memory, and learned to harmonize partly through printed hymns, but mostly by ear to avoid doubling her siblings’ voices! She adds that: “Although ‘Ann’ is my given middle name, I always go by ‘Ruth Ann,’ since all my siblings are biblically named and I was ‘a bit’ of a rebel.”
Ruth Ann earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana University in French, Spanish and Education; and studied in France at the University of Strasbourg. She taught high school French and Spanish for 34 years and has chaperoned many student trips abroad. When asked she said: “I’ve studied languages but lived music my whole life. Both are passions of mine.”
Director Pamela Weir says: "I could see the talent of Ruth Ann by watching her as a choir member. I told her as we finished the last Season that I thought she was a talent not yet tapped into. When Judy Penick stepped down as the Chorale accompanist, I reached out to Ruth Ann saying, 'Remember when I said we had not tapped into your talent yet? Well, this might be the day!' She was so happy to have been asked, and we're so happy to have her as a part of our creative team!"
Ruth Ann, for her part, says that she has been so impressed with how welcoming everyone has been, and especially enjoys her “2nd Alto buddies!” Fellow accompanist Marilyn Sassman will fill in for Ruth Ann until she returns on October 3rd. Ruth Ann will in turn accompany both the Chorale and chorus while Marilyn is out later in October.
Both will be on “the benches” after that, helping us (and helping Pamela help us) prepare and be at our very best for our Holiday Concert 2023, December 2 and 3 this year.