Elisabeth Howard, Ms. Senior America 2012
MS.SENIOR AMERICA!" What an incredible honor! I still can't believe it! My new address is Over the moon. On top of the world. Cloud #9. I've had so many rich experiences this year!
This past year I was so fortunate to be the California Guest of Honor at "A Beauty Pageant from the Heart" at the California Ethnic World Pageant in Los Angeles. One of my singing idols, Della Reese, was one of the judges. Another judge, a Hollywood agent, subsequently signed me to a contract!
I was Guest of Honor and was interviewed on CU@USC, the #1 College Television talk show, "CAMPUS" television, Los Angeles. I was interviewed by Ron Roberson on "Interview with the Pulse," Anaheim, CA (YouTube). I was a guest on "Breakfast with Gary and Kelly" on KSBR 88.5FM at Norman P. Murray Center, Mission Viejo, CA. I was interviewed on TV as Celebrity Guest at "The Women's Conference" at the Long Beach Convention in CA. I was a guest author and interviewed by three TV stations at my publisher's booth (Alfred Publishing) at the Winter NAMM Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Along with Jeff Silbar, composer of "Wind Beneath My Wings", I was honored to be a California Celebrity guest at the California Copyright Conference Party. I was invited to be a guest of honor & judge at the International Fund for Animal Welfare art competition for elementary school children on saving elephants in the wild.
I wore my sash and crown and shared with my 97 year old mother, "Mother, I did this for you. You were my role model. You made me what I am." She help my photo against her chest and smiled through tears of joy. She passed away two days later.
Recently, I was invited to give a motivational speech at University Retirement Home in Thousand Oaks, California. I told them about our pageant and about what I did to be the best I could be to win the title, Ms. Senior America 2012, and how grateful I was for the opportunity to learn more and to help others. I agreed with them on how important we are to each other...to be there in times of trouble, to comfort and to love.
I taught the Master Class in Performance for the Music Center Spotlight Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. One of my students came in first place! I conducted a Vocal Power Workshop and Master Class for our Cameo Club and am happy to report we raised a few thousand dollars. I also sold all the inventory I took to the workshop of my books, CDs, and DVDs - "SING!" "Born to Sing," and ABCs of Vocal Harmony" - Two of the singers in the Master Class each won the first runner-up spot in two of the California Preliminary Pageants and went on to compete in the California State Pageant!
In April, I attended the Tennessee State Pageant and had a ball with the beautiful Southern Belles. They taught me a brand new language! Thank you Hollie Knight and all the wonderful chaperones that showed me the true Southern hospitality. I enjoyed being interviewed on your local radio show!
In May, I returned to Italy to conduct Vocal Power Workshops and Master Classes in Brescia, Bolzano and Sorrento. This makes eleven countries and thirty eight cities where I have taught my vocal technique. In Sorrento, my hotel room face the ocean with breathtaking view of Mt Vesuvius! In Brescia, we had a review for 37 Vocal Power Instructors coming from all over Italy. My books are now published in Italian. I wish you could have seen their faces when I entered the room in my MS. SENIOR AMERICA 2012 sash and crown, shaking hands and greeting them to the recorded entrance song, "It Don't Mean a Thing, If it Ain't Got That Swing."
From Italy, I was to travel directly to the NJ State Pageant and then a visit to NY to see my two best friends from Juilliard. But my darling husband Geoffrey, took ill and had to be hospitalized in Italy. We returned to Los Angeles where he was hospitalized for two months and has been in rehab now for seven weeks. I've stayed every night on a mattress next to him. The crown and the sash one day - the floor the next. But I love being with him and continue to think "What a nice hotel!" I found out what it really means to be strong.
I am sorry to say that I had to miss the Missouri State Pageant, but our first runner-up, Laura McFayden, graciously went in my place. I love my 57 years of voice teaching! Most recently, my client, Sussan Deyhim, was the singing voice on the Academy Award film "Argo." Singer/song writer, Lisa Loeb, is now a client. I also had the privilege of coaching Lionel Richie for his two month tour.
This past year, I learned so much and feel so much more ready to empower others to be; the best they can be to let it shine and to encourage others to shine. If you ever feel like you're over the moon, you must have reached for the stars.!
Thank you, Dr. Al Mott, Founder of Senior America, Louise Ferla, VP Senior America, Hollie Knight, Senior America Liaison; Thank you Michelle Rahn, National Pageant Director, Linda Huntley Asst. National Pageant Director, Thank you Contestants Chairpersons, Annemarie Pittman& Anita Geffinger, Pinky O'Neal, Director of Development and Myrna Motzer for my makeup. Thank you Kelly Bennett for publicity. Thank you Judy Lamppu & Phylis Lovitt, for your encouragement to enter the Pageant. Thank you Erika Valdez, Pageant coach extraodinaire. Thank you John and Joan, Susan and John and cousin April. Thank you Pageant Director, Marilyn McCabe Kohler and Captain William Kohler. Thank you, Pamela Wheeler, our new California State Director. And finally, thank you to my precious husband, Geoffrey G. Forward, actor, director for your love and support and for thirty years of sheer bliss.
With a song in my heart,
Ms. Senior California 2012
Ms. Senior America 2012