Thursday, August 13, 2009
Contralto Marian Anderson Sang at Lakeside
On Saturday evening, August 4, 1956, Marian Anderson presented a concert at Lakeside in Hoover Auditorium, with Franz Rupp at the piano. During the first half of the program Miss Anderson sang classical selections by George Frideric Handel, Franz Schubert, and Camille Saint-Saens. Featured during the second half of Marian Anderson’s concert were “None But the Lonely Heart,” by Tschaikovsky, “The Ploughboy” arranged by Britten, and “Blow, Blow the Winter Wind,” arranged by Quilter, as well as four traditional spirituals. Mrs. Earl Abele donated the autographed program to the historical collections of the Sandusky Library.
Marian Anderson was the first African American to perform with the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She sang for both President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s and President John F. Kennedy’s inaugurations. In January of 1939, when Miss Anderson was not allowed to perform at Constitution Hall, which was owned by the Daughters of the American Revolution, Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the D.A.R. On Easter Day, April 9, 1939, Marian Anderson gave a concert at the base of the Lincoln Memorial. More than 75,000 people attended this historic event. Miss Anderson was commemorated on a United States postage stamp on January 27, 2005.
The concert given by Marian Anderson took place when the Lakeside Association was under the leadership of Dr. Herbert J. Thompson. James Allen Kestle wrote in his book This is Lakeside, that Dr. Thompson was known as “the Englishman who never lost his Scottish accent.” Three books about the history of the Lakeside Association can be found in the genealogy and local history section of the Sandusky Library.