Faith Winthrop: Singing Octogenarian: “Havin’ Myself a Time”

Faith Winthrop is performing this afternoon, Wednesday, January 11, 4 pm to 7 pm, at AgeSong, 624 Laguna Street, San Francisco. This performance is free and open to the public.

I met Faith through the Poetics of Aging Conference, where she performed opening songs before keynote speakers. Faith turned 80 at the conference.  In a recent interview with Faith,  she talked about what it’s like working into one’s 80s.  Here is Faith’s view of aging:

The many attitudes toward the process of aging may include acceptance, delight, denial, despair and abject terror. Having worked through many of these transitions myself, I am grateful to be my age and have the ability to share wonderful songs and sentiments.

Faith has sung with such luminaries as Eddie Duran, Billie Holiday, and Tony Bennett.  She has performed at top jazz and cabaret clubs alongside Woody Allen, Barbara Streisand, and the Bassse Band. She’s performed on the “Today Show” and was founding director of Glide Memorial’s chior and a faculty member of the SF Community Music Center and the SF Conservatory of Music. She’s also a vocal coach who has taught Ben Vereen, and other acclaimed artists.

Faith Winthrop’s career is as storied as her extensive songbook. From an aspiring 11-year-old treading the boards of the G line streetcar and spontaneously taking requests from passengers traveling from Brookline to Boston to the still singing and swinging senior, her life remains a continual love affair with song. Integrating her new original works with her trademark soulful and elegant style, rhythmic comedic timing, and astonishing vocal control, Faith continues to wow crowds both nationally and internationally, most recently at San Francisco’s Razz Room, where she introduced her new show, “Faith Lift,” to stunning reviews.  Faith is currently crafting more tunes of wit and wonder and plans to record her music and take her show on the road again, ever faithful to her love affair with song.

I had the good fortune to hear Faith sing again a couple weeks ago at the Panama Hotel in San Rafael.  I was so captivated by her performance that I asked her if she would teach me how to sing.  Though I am in my sixties, she was very encouraging and said, “Everyone can learn to sing at any age.”

For more information, view Faith Winthrop’s website.

Dr. Sally Gelardin, AgeSong Today Journalist

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