WomenSing is very excited to present two outstanding vocalists at our upcoming Gala. We recently caught up with Karen Anderson and Jessica Deardorff Elder to learn more about them.

Karen Anderson

WomenSing: Where were you born and raised?
Karen Anderson: I was born in Salt Lake City Utah in the cold of winter in December.
Jessica Deardorff Elder: I was born and raised in Castro Valley! My husband, three children and I relocated to Phoenix four years ago. We miss the Bay Area dearly.

WS: What is your first musical memory?
KA: My first memory of music is sitting by my mother at the piano singing church hymns with my Dad and three brothers and four sisters. Not sure why I carved my name in capitol letters into that nice piano. Woops. Grew up listening to country-western music and Lawrence Welk. Didn’t even know that opera existed.
JDE: My parents are both professional musicians, so I can’t remember a time when I was not surrounded by music! There were always piano lessons going on in the next room, or a guitar serenading me during dinner. My parents will tell you that I was singing even before I was talking.

Jessica Deardorff Elder

WS: What do you enjoy most about performing…and what scares you the most? Halloween is coming, after all.
KA: The true enjoyment of performing is the shared energy and the healing that goes both directions. So powerful.
The scariest part is that my nightmare will come true. I am going onto the stage to perform an opera. I hear the orchestra and have never heard this music in my life and then the evil conductor cues me. Oh wow!!!!
JDE: I enjoy sharing music. Whether it is with an audience, my students or a church congregation, I think music draws people closer together in an unforgettable way. The scariest part of performing is the moment right before I begin to sing! There is always a flash of doubt just before I sing the first word. It’s amazing how quickly that fear gives way to enjoyment.

WS: What do you love besides music?
KA: I love my dear sweet husband who is the most courageous person I know. My two beautiful daughters who have blessed and filled my life. I love to teach singing. Nothing better than to watch a student perform their own solo show with true artistic ablility and vocal purity. So great.
JDE: I love my beautiful family. My husband Joshua, son Ian, and daughters Emma Jean and Alice are truly the light of my life! I also love my work as a Certified Health Coach. Assisting others to create the healthy lives they desire and deserve is an incredible honor, and it also keeps me true to my own health journey.