Sample Education Paper on Marian Anderson

Sample Education Paper on Marian Anderson

Background and Music Education

Marian Anderson became the first African-American to present alongside and together among the Metropolitan Opera in 1955 in New York. Born and raised up in Philadelphia, February 27, Marian’s musical career begun during her stint in the church when the congregation contributed towards her musical schooling (Eidsheim 642). In her early years, she earned the name “Baby Contralto” due to her lovely mellow voice. Despite her father’s death and with only her mother to raise her together with her younger sisters, Marian remained committed in church activities and perfected her skills in bass, tenor, alto, and soprano. Her commitment in the church choir impressed the church, which helped her raise $500 to get training from the renowned Giuseppe Boghetti (Edelman 34). Further sponsorship and support saw her study and meet famous and influential musicians in the United States and Europe. She studied in public school. When she heard her voice, Arturo Toscanini, described her as a voice heard only once in a hundred years (Arsenault 77).

Career, Success and Involvement in Civil Rights Movement

Her training and stint with Boghetti exposed her musical skills, an opportunity that saw her perform and showcase her musical skills at the Lewisohn arena a chance that presented her further to other music competitions and concerts. After her performance at the Carnegie Hall, she got on a tour that took her to Europe, a trip that was promoted by Julius Rosenwald Scholarship. She later got an invitation to the White House to perform to the then President Roosevelt, becoming the first African American to get such an honor. At only twenty-three, she got into a competition and emerged the best out of three hundred competitors (Eidsheim 645).

Performance in Europe

Anderson became a pioneer in music at an early age and her name resonated with musical performances and concerts all over the world. She performed in Geneva, Zurich, Antwerp, London, Paris, and in the Scandinavian regions (Edelman 56). Her tour that came after the Second World War exposed her to many opportunities and made her grow regarding prominence, musical career, and expanded public attention (Eidsheim 648). Her performance in Austria in 1932, further enhanced her musical fame in Europe and beyond after a sterling performance (Arsenault 178).

Performance in the US

After her tour of Europe, Anderson signed a contract to make appearances and performed in more than fifteen concerts. Her performances included European classical in addition to African American religious songs with fans warming and calling her as the new “stir of the US.”

Involvement in Civil Rights Movement

When word leaked out why she has turned away from performing at the Constitutional Hall due to her African American roots, Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of the President, invited her to perform at the Lincoln Memorial in front an audience of over 75,000 where she gave a sterling performance (Edelman 78). Her performance was broadcasted live over the radio, a feat that increased her audience’s love for her music and prominence (Eidsheim 649). Through her earning, Marian contributed and supported the SCLC through financial and logistical arrangements such as performing during their meetings and demonstrations.

Operatic Debut

Anderson’s accomplishments grew as she received and performed in different concerts such as Presidential swearing in (Swearing in of President Dwight D. Eisenhower) as well as John F. Kennedy’s swearing in (Edelman 115). She was later appointed by President Eisenhower as an ambassador to the UN13th General Assembly in addition to receiving the United Nations Peace Prize (1977) (Eidsheim 669).


She later received a lifetime award, the Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Anderson died of natural causes in 1993 in Oregon.  Her musical career spanned many decades with inspiring and sterling performances. Her great resonant vocals remain an inspiration to many in the music industry.



Works Cited

Arsenault, Raymond. The sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Concert that Awakened America. Bloomsbury Publishing USA, 2010.

Edelman, Marian Wright. Lanterns: A Memoir of mentors. Beacon Press, 2013.

Eidsheim, Nina Sun. “Marian Anderson and “Sonic Blackness” in American Opera.” American Quarterly 63.3 (2011): 641-671.