That Voice! In Search of Ann Drummond-Grant
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That Voice

In Search of
Ann Drummond-Grant,
the Singer Who
Shaped My Life

Marcia Menter

Book Cover for "That Voice" by Marcia Menter

That Voice

Part memoir, part biography, That Voice tells the story of the Scottish contralto Ann Drummond-Grant, who died in the prime of her career—and whose recorded voice became a lifeline for an introverted American girl who longed to follow in her footsteps. As a student of singing, Marcia Menter met with more frustration than success. But she shines as a chronicler of her own life and tumultuous times, and of her lifelong search for the elusive artist who seemed to cast a trail of tiny clues from beyond the grave.

Two Lives, One Story

As an adolescent in Syracuse, New York, Marcia Menter fell in love with the voice of Ann Drummond-Grant, who sang contralto roles with the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, the legendary British Gilbert and Sullivan Troupe. She dreamed of joining the company even though it didn’t hire Americans—and even after she learned that Ann Drummond-Grant had died years before. Drummie’s glorious voice remained a living presence as Menter struggled to master vocal technique, earning a conservatory degree in singing before finally admitting she was not a performer at heart. She never stopped looking for Drummie, visiting places she lived, interviewing people who knew her, and putting together the puzzle pieces of her life. This is the story of a singer and her listener, a girl from Edinburgh and a girl from Syracuse, whose lives are connected in unexpected ways.

Marcia Menter held senior writing and editing positions at national magazines including Glamour, Mademoiselle, Self, and Redbook. Her self-help book, The Office Sutras: Exercises for Your Soul at Work, was published in 2003 by Red Wheel/Weiser Press. Her poetry chapbook, The Longing Machine, was published in 2007 by HappenStance Press in Scotland. She has published poems, essays, and literary criticism in journals in the US and UK. She lives in Manhattan.