Marie Anderson has devoted her life’s work to the study and teaching of voice to singers of all ages in various forums, and co-founded SONG in 2013.
She began her music studies at the University of Western Ontario, receiving an Honours Bachelor of Music Education (1976) and a Bachelor of Education (1977). As a life-long learner, she continued vocal studies throughout her career with voice teachers at McGill University, The Royal Conservatory of Music, the University of Western Ontario. She has also studied advanced courses in vocal pedagogy and choral technique at Princeton University and the Voicecare Network, St. John’s University, Minnesota.
In 2009, she completed a Masters of Education from Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, with a focus on vocal pedagogy.
Before moving to Kingston in 2007, Marie lived in Cobourg, Ontario, where she and her colleague Deirdre Morrell founded and directed the award-winning youth choirs, La Jeunesse. Her choirs toured Europe five times, receiving gold medals in four international competitions between 1993 and 2007.
Besides touring internationally and recording five CDs, La Jeunesse produced several musicals, including The Secret Garden, Anne Of Green Gables, Godspell, and Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Given the choir’s reputation and success, Marie and La Jeunesse were invited to participate in several productions by internationally recognized Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer. In these productions, Marie directed the children’s portion of both The enchanted forest, (Fourth Line Theater Production with Canadian opera singer Maureen Forrester, 1994, The Wolf Center, Haliburton 2006) and The palace of the cinnabar phoenix (Pontypool Ontario, 2001, and The Wolf Center, Haliburton 2007), each time under the direction of the composer. Marie brought Schafer’s work to Northumberland County once more in 2016 with the production of The Spirit Garden produced with SONG and an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant for artist participation.
Since returning to Northumberland County in 2013, she has done musical direction for Northumberland Players productions of Les Miserables (2015), The Secret Garden (2016), Forever Plaid (2016), Sister Act (2017), and Chicago (2020). While in Kingston, Marie was assistant conductor of Cantabile Choirs under the artistic direction of Dr. Mark Sirett. She conducted the two youngest choirs and the Womens’ Choir during Dr. Sirett’s sabbatical.
Marie developed and facilitated a popular group vocal technique program for Queens Conservatory, and has re-established it here in Northumberland County with co-facilitator Shannon Linton, with whom she also produces pop-up choir opportunities for the community.
She has a thriving vocal studio in Northumberland County and in Kingston. Marie taught vocal technique in the St. Lawrence Music Theatre Department for three years, working with students to learn roles, audition, and complete weekly master class assignments. Additionally, she developed a unique youth arts program at Sydenham Street United Church that brought church and community members together in two music dramas, most notably a commission by R. Murray Schafer for the composition and artistic direction of a community-inspired music drama called JoB: A Cosmic Tapestry, which premiered in May, 2011.
She moved back to Northumberland County in 2013 to help found and provide artistic direction for SONG, an El Sistema-based music program for social transformation in Northumberland County. Since its inception in October 2013, it has served over 200 students in the community, with instruction in choir and strings several times a week.
Marie has received several awards for the work she has done in developing voices and creating musical/theatrical opportunities for individuals and community groups. She has been recognized nationally with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for outstanding community contributions, she was named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International, and was awarded the first Arts award for community service for Northumberland County in 2002. She continues to facilitate workshops and music camps across Canada. Marie also has two wonderful adult children who are fine members of their community in Ottawa.