Tour


THE VILLAGES

For more than 10 years, Linda Eder had been hearing about a unique community in Central Florida called The Villages from the two Eder-tors of THE VOICE, Ellen Jacobs, a resident of The Villages, and Amanda Feliu, a visitor to The Villages on several occasions. From the way it was described to her, Linda formed a picture in her mind about what The Villages is like and what she would see and experience when she visited. She pictured some aspects of The Villages correctly and was surprised by other aspects she didn’t imagine, especially the size of this retirement community.

Linda was also very intrigued by its location so close to Ocala, a community of rolling hills and over 1,200 horse farms including 600 thoroughbred farms. These farms are very impressive, having produced 45 national champions and six Kentucky Derby winners. Being a horse person herself for her entire life, Linda knew all about Ocala and knew she would visit this community one day.

Linda had an open invitation to visit any time to experience The Villages and Ocala, but it was her appearance at the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center on November 1st and her Master Class on November 2nd that provided her with the long awaited opportunity for her first visit. She took complete advantage of this opportunity by extending her visit for five days and making the most of every minute.

There is no better way to hear about her visit to The Villages than through the words of Linda herself, so we know you will enjoy this video she has prepared for you.


Trevin Cooper, Director of Education at the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center writes…

At The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center it was our great honor to host Linda Eder both as a performer in a sold out concert and as instructor of our inaugural Master Class. It’s challenging to truly express the level of talent, professionalism and congeniality displayed during her two days with us. Her remarkable concert was followed by a 90 minute autograph session/photo op, in which she signed every autograph of every fan that wanted to meet her. The following day she instructed a Master Class to ten participants and nearly sixty spell-bound observers. The skill Ms. Eder demonstrates as a performer is matched only by her skill as instructor, helping other artists to hone their talent as singers. She even took time to sign autographs and take photos with members of our staff, including myself. Prior to Ms. Eder’s residency, I was an ardent fan. Post her residency, I can easily classify her as one of the most talented, gracious, professionals I have had the privilege of meeting and working with during my three decade career in the theatre. She is among the finest of what the performing arts has to offer.


Fan Trevin Cooper and Linda ... "stuck" together!

 

 

A Night To Remember!

by Ellen Jacobs


Eder-tor Ellen Jacobs and Linda

On the evening of November 1, 2016, a crowd of more than 1,000 entered the lobby of the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center in The Villages, Florida. The excitement and eager anticipation for the evening’s concert was palpable as the audience members entered the unique lobby and then took their seats to await the start of the show. Linda Eder’s first appearance at this beautiful new venue was SOLD OUT!

When planning for her first concert at The Sharon, Linda decided to perform her current show that she had been touring with around the country, a show comprised of a mixture of songs that have been important in her career over the years for one reason or another plus her signature songs, the ones she knows she must include or hear about it on social media. In addition, she also wanted to tailor the show to fit her audience in The Villages. After doing a little research, she determined that Standards, Broadway, Jazz, and a little Judy Garland, who, as she will tell you, is the reason she is a singer, would work just fine.

It was a new venue for Linda, and as she stood in the wings waiting to walk out onto the stage, she contemplated the show she had planned and wondered how it would be received in The Villages. She wasn’t yet aware that her fans had come from near and far for her first appearance at The Sharon. In a few minutes, Linda would soon be embraced by the audience and feel  right at home as she began an evening filled with wonderful music for an appreciative audience, who responded with tremendous applause and standing ovations throughout the show.

And then it was show time! Linda took the stage looking gorgeous in a long shimmering top, black pants and very high heels. She was immediately greeted with cheers and very enthusiastic applause that seemed to never abate, and it was obvious that she was truly moved by this warm and welcoming reception from the packed house. Once she began the first notes of the “Theme from Ice Castles,” the song she sang when she won Best Female Vocalist and $100,000 on Star Search in 1988, the crowd hushed and settled into their seats.

Linda continued with her up-tempo and fun arrangement of “Blue Skies,” followed by an emotional performance of “Someone Like You” from JEKYLL & HYDE, a song that has become one of her signature songs since playing the role of Lucy in the show on Broadway. From the audience reaction, it was evident that many of those in attendance on this special evening had seen Linda in this role on Broadway or at least were very familiar with the recording, and they were most appreciative of her heart felt performance of this beautiful song.

Linda has a great relationship with her band members, who are among the most talented and well-respected musicians in the business, and she loves to interact and sometimes “play around” with them during her shows. This was most evident in the next selection, “On the Street Where You Live,” during which she engaged in a playful duel with her woodwinds player, Aaron Heick, to see if he could match her amazing breath control. Aaron indeed held his own quite well with Linda, who is able to hold notes “forever.” Later on in the show, Linda showed off her Jazz chops when she joined her incredible bass player, David Finck, on a sultry version of “Stormy Weather.” Near the end of the evening, guitar player Peter Calo proved that not only can he play a mean guitar, but he can also sing… and do both very well… and at the same time. The audience definitely reacted positively to Linda and Peter’s duet on “Fernando” as they joined in enthusiastically with their own very enthusiastic singing and clapping.


Linda spoke to the audience of the influence Judy Garland on her as an eight-year-old child while she was sitting at home in her living room watching “The Wizard of Oz.” When she heard Judy sing “Over the Rainbow” for the very first time, Linda knew that’s what she wanted to do and knew she would do when she grew up. From that point on, she wanted to be a singer. Her first medley of Judy songs was an upbeat version of “Almost Like Being in Love/This Can’t Be Love.” Later on in the evening, Linda performed a medley of two more Judy Garland songs, “The Boy Next Door/You Made Me Love You,” touching the hearts of those in the audience with all the longing and emotion of the lyrics.

Linda told the audience of her favorite Broadway production, Les Miserables, and how she loves every single song in this show. She chose to delight the audience with her favorite song, “I Dreamed a Dream.” She not only delighted the audience, but she moved them with the raw emotion she was feeling. They could tell that Linda was truly “in the moment,” as she skillfully and passionately interpreted the lyric. Linda brought the audience into her space and allowed them to feel the emotions as deeply as was feeling them. 

Following this emotional performance, Linda remained in her softer voice as she performed a song from her latest CD, RETRO. This CD is a collection of songs that she recorded over the past 20 or so years. “Sweet Surprise” is a perfect example of simple lyric and delicate melody expressing an emotion quite beautifully. She included another selection from RETRO later on in the evening, “The One That Got Away.”

Another experience in Linda’s formative years occurred when she was in 8th grade. She went on a field trip to see an off-Broadway production of EVITA, way, way off Broadway in Minnesota. She was totally enthralled with this show and fell in love with the music, especially one particular song, “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina.” As Linda sang the first few notes, a hushed sound of recognition could be heard before the house fell silent, and the audience hung onto each word and each note of this powerful song. As the last note was sung, the audience erupted into vigorous applause and cheers, and Linda received a standing ovation from the appreciative crowd.

It was time for some lighthearted fun after the three previous songs, so this is where Linda interjected the song that almost ended her career before it had barely begun. It was at one of the first shows she had ever done where she was part of a larger show. She’d come out, sing one song, go off, come back out again… that’s how the evening went. When she came out to sing “Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long,” the piano player began the song 5 steps too high. She was so new to performing that she didn’t know you could stop the piano player and tell him to start over, so she just sang her way down through all those half steps. She ran off the stage crying and swore she’d never go out on stage again. Lucky for the music world and for us she changed her mind!

The next selection was the beautiful standard, “I’ll Be Seeing You,” from the Broadway show, RIGHT THIS WAY. This show had a very short run on Broadway, but this particular song was very popular during World War II and brought comfort to many who had to say good-bye and send their loved ones off to war.

Linda continued with the Broadway theme by performing two incredibly powerful songs, “Anthem” from CHESS and “The Impossible Dream” from MAN OF LA MANCHA. The power and control she displayed during her performance of these incredible Broadway songs was just incredible. Linda’s magnificent voice soared up to the rafters of the Sharon and beyond!

Before beginning the next selection, Linda told the audience about her first job drying dishes at her father’s restaurant when she was 16 years old. Different bands would come to play there and when one certain band came to town, her Dad would let Linda stop drying dishes and sing one particular song as he proudly stood in the back and watched. Linda sang this song, “I’m Not Lisa,” with so much emotion that the audience could sense that in her mind, she was that 16 year old girl making her father so proud all those many years ago in Minnesota.

Linda continued on with another story about her teenage years. While in high school, the choir teacher and the drama teacher didn’t get along and they didn’t work together. Linda had to choose one area, and she chose choir and consequently she missed out on all the great productions she would have enjoyed throughout high school. In her senior year, the choir director decided they would put on their own production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Linda was chosen to play the role of the Mother Abbess because nobody could sing “Climb Every Mountain” like she could. In this new arrangement, Linda’s voice once again soared to the heavens. This was another one of the highlights of the evening for which Linda received another well-deserved standing ovation.

As mentioned previously, Linda has a wonderful relationship with her band members, and she takes every opportunity to feature them and to praise them. She introduced each musician during her performance of “Charade” from the film of the same name and featured their incomparable talent on their instrument… Peter Calo on guitar, Aaron Heick on woodwinds, David Finck on bass, and Musical Director and Grammy winner Billy Stein on piano. These musicians are in constant demand and truly are the best in the business.

After Linda’s tribute to her band members, it was time for the final two songs, the songs that she like to include in each and every performance. She is very conscious of the preferences of her fans and always wants to be sure her shows are memorable for them. Linda performed the beautiful and poignant “Vienna” with all the emotion this song invokes in her. And then with the first few notes of “Man of La Mancha” echoing through the theatre, the crowd went wild! They knew they were in for a rousing closing number. They weren’t disappointed and rewarded Linda with another enthusiastic standing ovation, which did not let up until Linda returned to the stage for an encore.

Nothing could be more fitting for her encore than the gorgeous Judy Garland song, “Over the Rainbow.” After all, without Linda hearing this song as a child, she may not have been standing in front of us on the stage of The Sharon.

Linda closed the evening with the stirring “God Bless America.” The entire sold out house rose to its feet and raised their voices in song together with Linda. There were not many dry eyes at the conclusion of this tribute to our great country, a truly fitting ending to a wonderful evening of song performed by one of the greatest female voices of our time.

 

MASTER CLASS

On the evening of November 2, 2016, Linda returned to The Sharon stage, this time for an intimate gathering of 10 very nervous and excited students who would be participating in the Master Class, and a group of about 60 observers, who would also be able to learn from Linda’s expertise while they observed her as she worked with the individual students.

Linda gave a very brief introduction meant to put the students at ease as much as possible and then dove right into the class. Each student performed a song of their choice for Linda, and then she worked with him/her on developing both strengths and weaknesses for about 15 minutes. Linda found something positive about each person and sent them back to their seats feeling good about themselves and with specific things to work on to improve their performance.

Below you will be able to read the thoughts of most of the lucky participants in Linda’s Master Class. What a truly wonderful experience for all of them!



Fan Erika Bankerd and Linda

Erika Bankerd writes of her experience…

The first time I heard the “Jekyll & Hyde” musical soundtrack, I was in awe of Linda Eder. What an incredible talent and she has been someone I've looked up to vocally for quite some time. When I found out she was coming to Florida for a concert and master class, I was overjoyed and knew I had to get a seat in her class. The morning to register as a student I had my alarm set to call the box office to try and ensure my spot. In one hand I was on hold with the box office and in the other I was trying to register online. Once my participant ticket was secured, I was overjoyed.

The day of the class I was a nervous wreck. After seeing her concert the night before the master class, this was all becoming more real. Not only do I get to meet Linda, I have the opportunity to sing and work with her! Once at the class I felt a little more at ease because it took place on the stage with a more informal setup for the eighty observers and the curtain was closed.

Showtime! Lucky me… I was the first one up! I sang “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again,” from “The Phantom of the Opera.”  I thought it went very well and was a great way to start the night. Linda stated that I had a beautiful voice. She worked with me on some of my phrasing, how to find my voice and put “Erika” in there. I wish I would've had more time to work with her, but I am grateful for what I got. I was also able to learn a few techniques and tricks from watching the other participants as well.

What an amazing experience and a memory I will always cherish.

 


Fan Anne Flowerfields and Linda

 

 

Anne Flowerfields writes of her experience…

Linda's master class was very insightful for me. Being classically trained,I was always told that my voice was not suited for “belting” and that I should not sing that type of music. 

The song I picked for the master class was “Come Rain or Come Shine.” I sang it in my usual voice, but Linda stopped me and started talking about belting. She stated we all have a belting voice related to the way we speak when yelling and showed us some exercises to practice to get in the belt voice. I will incorporate what I learned and hopefully I can get my voice back into shape where I can do various types of music. This summer I had a thyroidectomy so I had not been singing and had just gotten into it again when I took her class. 

 

 

 



Fan Kathleen Kane and Linda

Kathleen Kane writes of her experience…

Linda made such an impact on me, not only working with me personally, but also watching her with the other participants. She was able to “read” each person and hear and see perfectly what they needed to work on to better their performance and sound, taking both to a new level! She is very down to earth and even though we were nervous, somehow she made us feel at ease.

I have already felt more confident in expressing the different “colors” of my singing voice as well as the high belt that I am known for... making it clearer and more my “own voice.” I am in the process of returning to my roots, which would be the big beautiful ballads, jazz, and Broadway. The song that we worked on, “Maybe This Time,” I will be performing in my show on December 14th at the Savannah Center. I have already felt stronger about both my higher and lower notes… and really telling the story. Last night, I had a rehearsal for “Guys and Dolls” as I am playing the lead Adelaide also at the Savannah Center; several of the people in the cast were observers Wednesday night and they too, were exploding with excitement and awesome comments about Linda’s teaching style, her instinctive knowing about each singer, and also calling her a “real person!” I have even taken some of Linda’s wisdom to my character of Adelaide and added “colors” to the way my character would say her lines. I also found some guidelines for voicing commercials and talking on air… all about “The Voice!!”

It was great to visit briefly with Linda after the class and we had a chance to talk about horses… dogs and horses, my favorite topics! Linda is just so cool and I am very grateful to have had the chance to take the class and meet her in person!!

 


"Back in the day" (top); Happy memories of grandpa (middle); Fan Lauren Meehan-Machos and Linda today (bottom)

Lauren Meehan-Machos writes of her experience…

MY STORY

First, I’d like to thank you, Ms. Eder, and the staff of the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center for coordinating and executing a most informative Master Class. As I flew in from North Carolina, the class met all my expectations, and I have great notes and techniques to apply to my own performing with my current big swing band here in Raleigh. I, like most of Ms. Eder’s followers and fans, are moved by her talent, her voice and her performance of music. I feel honored and privileged to have been able to participate in her class, but also to share the remarkable way she shaped my life almost 17 years ago. 

I first met Ms. Eder 16 years ago at Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort in Connecticut. It was as this meeting that I asked her permission to sing her title track of “It’s Time” at Miss America. I was Miss New Hampshire 2000 and, like many contestants, felt her music was a great show-piece on the National stage in Atlantic City. Moreover, I was one of the first contestants to ever perform a Linda Eder vocal in competition. I was extremely honored to have the US Air Force band write an arrangement to be performed live for performances throughout that year.  The last night of competition, I closed the show in Atlantic City with thousands in the audience to “It’s Time.”

That meeting 16 years ago forever changed my life, not just my performance career, but my family. I had introduced Ms. Eder’s music to my family, and especially to my grandfather. From that moment on, he never missed a performance of hers in the Boston Metropolitan area. He had tickets for every North Shore venue, for her performances with the Boston Symphony as well as the Boston Pops. (As I mentioned to Ms. Eder after the class, we have a mutual friend with conductor Keith Lockhart). My grandfather simply couldn’t get enough of her music and her talent and her heart. Sadly, he passed away a year ago this past August, but I have the greatest photo memory of him, his wife and Linda at her show in Boston a few months before his passing. I know how overjoyed he would be to know I full-filled a dream opportunity to study under THE Linda Eder. 

I know you didn’t request this back-story, but it was important to me to share why I chose to fly from North Carolina to Florida last week; Ms. Eder’s Master Class was a way for me to not only improve my singing and performing, but a way to feel my grandfather smile one more time. He would have been proud. So thank you… and thank you to Ms. Eder for sharing her time and talents with the group; it meant everything to me.

MASTER CLASS

As the feature vocalist with the NC Reveler’s Orchestra, a big Swing Band in North Carolina, it is important for me to continually improve the quality of my singing and performing. To do this requires an understanding of voice fundamentals and vocal techniques which aide in improving resonance and tone. Equally as important is learning HOW to apply these concepts, modify previously learned vocal patterns and enhance vocal quality and sound. Couple these points with how to connect with an audience, and you have the perfect makings of a Master Class with Linda Eder.

Ms. Eder provided specific examples as to how to begin to improve vocal sound to the class with the following:

  • Choose a natural and impactful voice
  • Be emotional and connect
  • Sing the way you speak- use a natural pronunciation
    • This point was specific to pronunciation of words and lyrics
  • Lift the Mask Up
    • Referring to frontal facial muscles to get a clean “Ah” sound because rich tones come from vowels
    • Strengthen facial muscles
  • Make the “I” in the lyrics the most beautiful thing we sing
  • Remember singing is an Athletic Sport
    • A reminder to focus on breathing and improving lung and ribcage muscle expansion and capacity for air;
  • And finally the “Secret to Belting”- sing like you are yelling with intent

Ms. Eder provided these and many more examples of how to improve the quality of the voice as we sing and application of these concepts. Additionally, I was impressed with her knowledge as to how sound is formed, her understanding of vocal resonance and where to place the sound as we sing; the goal being to sing songs in the “middle” of the head, not too forward to the mask and not too far toward the back. She provided great examples to “fatten” the sound of the voice by opening the palette—all of this to add coloring and arc to the sound quality.

For any and all students studying the styles of Broadway, Classical, Jazz, and others, if you have the opportunity to enroll in a Master Class with Linda Eder, you will learn how to improve the fullness, color, warmth, brightness, power and strength of your singing.  You will have the opportunity to learn from arguably the best vocalist in the business, to learn from her experiences and what she believe works well for vocalists.  You will be taught by an accomplished professional, a warm-hearted and down-to-earth teacher; a singer who loves her career and loves her family and wants to make YOU the student, truly a better singer.

Thank you to Ms. Eder for this opportunity. I will be forever grateful.

 


Fan Jessica Matthews and Linda

Jessica Matthews writes of her experience…

Having the opportunity to work with Linda Eder was a dream come true. I first fell in love with her “Broadway My Way” album and sang several of her signature songs for various performances. In fact, it was her song, “Gold,” that earned me the talent award and 1st runner up at the Miss New Hampshire pageant.

Beyond that, Lucy in Jekyll & Hyde is a dream role of mine. As you can imagine, having the chance to work one-on-one with such a legend was an opportunity that I couldn't pass up.
As a professional performer and voice teacher, I am always looking for ways to hone my skills. Linda's Master Class reiterated several invaluable points, and the way she brilliantly explained certain concepts to other students gave me new ways to explain difficult concepts to my own students as well.

As a singer, Linda helped me pinpoint several specific areas to direct my work on my own voice as well. She is so down to earth and easy going, immediately putting her students at ease, making the transition from singing for a star to star-pupil work comfortable, effortless, and fun.

 

 


Fan Mike Matthews and Linda

Mike Matthews writes of his experience…

I became an instant fan of Linda’s the moment I was introduced to JEKYLL & HYDE and her extraordinary talents later in my college years. At that time, I had never heard a voice that possessed so much in the powers of storytelling and audience connection, let alone sheer vocal power. To say that Linda was remarkably inspiring to me - a male, former college jock, and musical theatre newbie very much considered an outsider to his peers – would be quite the understatement.

Fast-forward 20 years after performing and touring professionally for the vast majority of that time – including two stints touring as Henry Jekyll/Edward Hyde in JEKYLL – it was truly a dream come true for my wife and I to have the opportunity to participate in a Master Class with Linda. In the interest of full disclosure, I am sometimes wary of artists that give master classes as the “class” is often lacking on substance and ends up being more of a profitable fan meet-and-greet session. Linda’s Master Class was the exact opposite! Not only was Linda beyond gracious, down-to-earth, humble and very giving, but the value of her insight and hands-on work with each performer was extraordinary. She took her time with each artist and not only praised their strengths, but was also able to identify unique areas for improvement as well as deliver her constructive suggestions in a way that was both positive and immediately actionable. Linda also took great care to ensure that others in attendance were active participants so that when she gave a piece of performance advice or a technique suggestion, all could benefit.

Success leaves clues. As human beings, no matter our current skill level, we must continually surround ourselves with people who are better in a particular area than we are if we want to keep growing and truly become great at something. From beginning performers to seasoned pros and everywhere in between, Linda’s remarkable insight, genuine care and hands-on work elevated the “game” of everyone in the room that wonderful evening and we are all the better for it. Not only do I recommend that everyone who is genuinely serious about growing their craft seek out the opportunity to work with Linda, but any time that Linda is offering a Master Class in the future and my schedule allows, I will be there again. Thank you, Linda, for being extraordinary.

 


Fan Scotty Tomas and Linda

Scotty Tomas writes of his experience…

Through The Sharon Performing Arts Center, I was given the wonderful opportunity to attend a master class with the beautifully talented, Linda Eder. I have attended several master classes before with other teaching artists, but I have to say, none compared to my experience I had with Linda. Myself, along with nine other soloists made up the participants of the class, with 25+ observers in the audience. While still keeping in time, but never showing a concern to the time, Linda was able to give us all our own spot light with such professional attention and critique.

My song selection was “Lost in the Wilderness” by one of my all-time favorite composers, Stephen Schwartz, from his musical “Children of Eden.” I chose this song because it was one that I have had difficult times in performing outside of my own shower or car, and with a chuckle, the performance at the master class was none the different! However, in those moments of grief after the big flop, where you just want to abort the mission, Linda’s personable and gentle words and advice came in and just cut the tension right in half! She touched on my vocal quality and pointed out the strengths within my performing style, and also showed interest in my personal experience, education, and goals. With a suggestion from our accompanist, we selected another song from my repertoire, “Johanna,” from Stephen Sondheim’s musical, “Sweeny Todd,” and spent the last few minutes of my time working on annunciation and vowel technique. With great passion comes the yearning for perfection, so when I fell short in my original piece, I had a great sense of disappointment.

The next week I remembered that I had recorded the class in its entirety and decided to take a listen. As my portion of the recording approached, I cringed with unease, only to be taken back and left with the thoughts, “that wasn’t as bad as I thought!” Ending my listening with Linda’s kind words again, I was inspired to keep moving forward and to never give up. I leave this experience with new growth, encouragement, and enthusiasm that will last a lifetime and help propel me forward in my art, career, and life. Thank you, Ms. Eder, and the team at The Sharon Performing Arts Center for the wonderful opportunity and new teachings!  

 


Fan Dawn Wetzel and Linda

 


Dawn Wetzel writes of her experience…


This year's birthday gift to myself was to go see my idol, Linda Eder, in concert, and then attend her master class the next night. I have admired her incredible voice for many years, but I was completely taken aback by how kind she was in person. She has been blessed with so many gifts and she is so generous to share her knowledge with others. She expressed that teaching is a natural progression, and a way to pay it forward. I am honored to have had the opportunity to learn from her expertise. She knew just what each singer needed to help them improve, and she knew just what to do to pull it out of them. I left the class in awe and very much inspired. Hands down the best birthday gift ever!

 

 

 

 



Fan Peggy White and Linda




Peggy White writes of her experience…


What I enjoyed most about watching Linda work with other students was her very down to earth nature. She understands that the singers are nervous and sought immediately to make everyone feel comfortable and relaxed. She was far more interested in getting the best sound out of the student as well as focusing on the meaning of the lyrics for optimal phrasing, than lauding her amazing accomplishments & talent. I loved how approachable she was and was fascinated by her knowledge of crafting a song/performance. 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

PHOTOS OF STUDENTS DURING MASTER CLASS COURTESY OF CHRISTA LUZYNSKI AND THE MASTER CLASS STUDENTS

 

 

 

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