2005 Swan Award Winner: Linda Allen Anderson


AndersonLinda Allen Anderson earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in music education at the University of Illinois, where she was elected to membership in both Mu Phi Epsilon and Pi Kappa Lambda. She completed further graduate work at various universities and studied with prominent choral authorities, including Howard Swan, Harold Decker, Eric Ericson, and Robert Shaw.

Mrs. Anderson taught high school in Illinois and New Jersey for six years before moving to California. Employed in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District from 1962-92, she served as chairman of the Santa Monica High School Music Department and also taught for twenty-one years at John Adams Junior High School, where she developed a comprehensive choral program of six sequentially organized choirs. From 1989-1995 she taught courses in vocal pedagogy and choral curriculum/literature at UCLA. She also served on the faculties of Santa Monica College and California State University, Los Angeles. Singers under Mrs. Anderson’s direction were selected to perform for National, Western Division, and State Conventions of the American Choral Directors’ Association and for numerous CMEA, SCVA, CCG, and NATS conferences. They also participated in a cultural exchange program as guests of the People’s Republic of China and were featured in concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Glendale Symphony, Los Angeles Master Chorale/Sinfonia Orchestra, and the William Hall Chorale and Orchestra.

A life member of the American Choral Directors’ Association, Mrs. Anderson served ACDA as Western Division president, vice-president, and secretary and as State president and vice-president. For seven years she was a member of the National Committee for Standards and Repertoire, serving as chairman of the National Committee for Junior High School. She also was a member of the Steering Committee for the ACDA Commission on Choral Music Education in Public Schools and served on both National and Western Division Auditions Committees. She has participated as a clinician in four National ACDA Conventions, three Western Division ACDA Conventions, and three State ACDA Workshops. She appeared as accompanist for Harold Decker in a Western Division ACDA Convention and for Howard Swan in a State ACDA Workshop. In 1988 presented the first ACDA National Workshops for Junior High School Choral Conductors, held at the Ohio State University and the University of Puget Sound. Her most recent contribution, a seven-year labor of love, is Monograph No. 11, The Foundation of Artistry: An Annotated Bibliography of Distinctive Choral Literature for High School Mixed Choirs, published by ACDA (2003) and available on the ACDA website.

A member of the Music Educators’ National Conference since 1956, Mrs. Anderson joined the California Music Educators’ Association in 1962. She has delivered lectures/clinics at five CMEA State Conventions, four Central Section CMEA Fall Workshops, a Southern Section CMEA Mid-Winter Institute, and a Southern Border Section CMEA Conference. She has also acted as accompanist for the CMEA All-State High School Honor Choir. Mrs. Anderson has served the Southern California Vocal Association in various capacities, has coached and accompanied countless soloists, and has appeared as a clinician, adjudicator, guest conductor, and lecturer throughout the United States. Additional professional affiliations have included International Federation for Choral Music, Chorus America, Opera America, National Association of Teachers of Singing, International Congress of Voice Teachers, and the Metropolitan Opera Guild.

One of her favorite projects was serving as editorial research consultant and biographer for The Conscience of a Profession: Howard Swan, Choral Director and Teacher (Hinshaw). Mrs. Anderson also authored A Selective List of Choral Music for Junior High School (MENC). The Linda Allen Anderson Choral Series, featuring editions/arrangements for secondary choirs, is printed by Alliance Music Publications. Mrs. Anderson has edited many choral octavos (Kjos), including the compositions of Dede Duson, a noted Texas choral composer, and a series of textbooks, Choral Insights. Published in four separate editions (General, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical), these books are designed to enhance the choral experience by organizing the teaching of factual information to secondary and college-age choral singers.

Mrs. Anderson’s honors include selection as the first recipient (1985) of the Eunice Skinner Memorial Award for Excellence in Choral Music, presented by the California Music Educators’ Association. The Los Angeles County Music Educators’ Association gave her the Robert Runge Memorial Recognition Award for Exemplary Achievement in the Field of Secondary Education (1989). She was nominated by SCVA as its first Outstanding Music Educator (1990) and was honored at the CMEA-SS Mid-Winter Conference in 1991. She was presented with the Samohi Distinguished Service award (1998). In 2005, California ACDA presented her with the Howard Swan Award, in Recognition of Inspirational Service to the Art of Choral Conducting. In 2008, CMEA honored her and her husband, Gerald E. Anderson, as Outstanding Music Educators of the Year. The Stairway of the Stars Award (1996), given to Mrs. Anderson by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, reads: “You have inspired in us a passion for the choral art, you have challenged us to be our best, you have given generously of your wisdom, and you have taught us that to make music is an act of inexpressible love and joy.”