Books

Stand Up Straight and Sing!

Jessye Norman is the author of memoir Stand Up Straight and Sing!

Jessye Norman

In Stand Up Straight and Sing!, Jessye Norman recalls in rich detail the strong women who were her role models, from her ancestors to family friends, relatives, and teachers.

She hails the importance of her parents in her early learning and experiences in the arts. And she describes coming face-to-face with racism, not just as a child living in the segregated South but also as an adult out and about in the world.

She speaks of the many who have inspired her and taught her essential life lessons. A special interlude on her key relationship with the pioneering African American singer Marian Anderson reveals the lifelong support that this great predecessor provided through her example of dignity and grace at all times. (from Mariner Books)

It was a beautiful autumn when I found myself in Europe for the very first time, in bustling, stylish Munich. While completing a master's degree in vocal performance at the University of Michigan, I had been among the students selected from around the country by a special committee of the United States Information agency to participate in international music competitions.

I was thrilled to be taking part in the prestigious Bayerischer Rundfunk Internationaler Musikwettbewerb, the Bavarian Radio International Music Competition. Julius, a great friend and fine pianist whom I knew from my undergraduate days at Howard University, had traveled with me as my accompanist. There was electricity in the air: the while city seemed to be involved in the events at the Bavarian Radio. All of the performances during the competition were to be held before a live audience. 


From Stand Up Straight and Sing! by Jessye Norman ©2015. Published by Mariner Books.

Interviews

Ahead of receiving the Glenn Gould Prize in Toronto, opera singer Jessye Norman joined guest host Laurie Brown to reflect on her early career and the importance of the arts. 18:13

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