composer, performer, producer
Ann Hoopes as composer, performer, producer and avid supporter of the musical arts, has been active in the Music-Theatre scene of Washington for many years. She has an extraordinary ear for music which is only exceeded by her passion for the American songbook and the golden age of American musicals.
Ann started her involvement in music at an early age. She grew up in a musical family in suburban Chicago, where she and her mother regularly performed on two pianos and all four members of her family would often play in public, accompanying group singing on a variety of stringed instruments. As a child, Ann made up songs and played the piano by ear in addition to studying classical music. Then, at Wellesley College, where her mother had been a music and mathematics major 25 years earlier, Ann composed the class song and won a college song-writing contest. She also arranged much of the music for the Wellesley octet, The Tupelos.
At a time when Washington had not yet become the thriving cultural metropolis for the performing arts it is today, Ann and her husband, Townsend, who had recently moved to the District, produced musicals of old Broadway shows with up to 12 singers and offered these professionally staged works to the community. Ann served as both Arranger and Music Director. There were sometimes as many as ten shows a year which toured clubs, churches and D.C. area institutions such as the justice department where they performed for the Supreme Court Justices. “The Hoopes Troops,” as the group was known, raised money for many good causes over a period of 15 years, and enjoyed a steady following of friends and fans.
As a composer, Ann and Townsend collaborated on a musical called “The Pilgrims. ” Recently, with collaborators Robert Johnson and Susan Galbraith, she completed a musical about Amelia Earhart which she originated, combining her passion and experience as a pilot of small airplanes with her love for music. The work, Amelia in America, received a most successful workshop in Minneapolis-St Paul and is currently under consideration for a full production locally. This tribute to Ann’s girlhood heroine and sister aviatrix combines the tunefulness of the works of the American musical of the 1930’s with the sharp edginess that shows the parallels of that time period with the economic, political and social turmoil of today.
Once a member of one of America’s foremost sporting-families, Ann remains a highly-successful competitive athlete, even at 77. Tireless, she is both presiding muse and matriarch, Ann still creates birthday-songs for friends and family, routinely produces several musical-events annually, and still combines performing in classical eight-hand piano concerts with robust sing-alongs.