Uncovering Musical Jewels in the Family History

May 31, 2016

Music has always been in my immediate family. My dad has sat in with me here and there at shows when I'm in the neighborhood, and my grandmother's sister was a renowned concert pianist. My dad's father's family had a lot of music too, but they scattered in all directions and we never had any contact with most of them in my lifetime.

Until last week. After a lifetime of mystery and wondering, we connected with grandpa's sister Margaret's family. Rich with musical talents through the generations. Margaret was an opera singer who'd narrowly missed a big role on Broadway, studied with a virtuoso in Italy, and went to the west seeking her fame on the stage. Her daughter Martha Housen followed in her footsteps in musical theater and operatic singing. And thanks to my singer/songwriter cousin Ian Parks (yes - I'm no longer the only one in my family!!), we have this video of her last performance in Steven Sondheim's "Les Follies", at Popejoy Hall in Albuquerque NM sometime around 2000. She's around 70 I'm guessing, and power and beauty of her voice amaze me. I'm grateful for the technology that allows me to "meet" her a little bit, and share her with you. I hope you enjoy it.

 

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