Music has always been front and center in Jane’s life. She grew up surrounded by musicians from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago which was founded by her grandfather, a pianist, John J. Hattstaedt, in 1883. Her father was its president for 35 years. Jane began her piano studies at an early age and, encouraged by her mother who was a singer and college professor, added vocal training in high school. Piano performance had predominated until she sang the role of Iolanthe in the Gilbert and Sullivan production at the new Trier High School. Jane went on to Smith College where she was a double major of piano and voice. She devoted herself to singing as she enjoyed performing music that gave her a more direct communication for thoughts and emotion with the audience.
Sheila Martin and Jane have Smith College in common, although Sheila graduated and Jane transferred to the University of Michigan her junior year. While at Smith, Jane had memorable experiences as soprano soloist when she received a favorable review written by Sylvia Plath and the honor of singing an unaccompanied solo at Symphony Hall, Boston, for her glee club performance.
Steve and Jane met in New York City when she was finishing her master's degree at Columbia University's Teachers College. In New York, she sang with Amato Opera, performing the role of Pamina in Mozart's Magic Flute two days before she and Steve married in Princeton, NJ. Her first teaching job was for sight-handicapped children in the inner city of Newark, NJ. This was an awakening experience for her and what she credits as good preparation for teaching the students at St. Andrew's. She loved it! When Steve began his time as Headmaster at St. Andrew’s, their son, John, was almost five and daughter, Carrie, two. Jane was a stay-at-home mom and began leading the students in a small choir. Voice lessons taken at Brown University put her in touch with her soon to be long-time accompanist, Edith Hemenway. They performed art song literature in recitals at the Music Mansion, Brown University's Alumnae Hall, Rhode Island College, Providence College, and Barrington College. When Edith moved to Savannah, GA, Ludmilla Lifson became her accompanist who coached her in singing music in her native Russian language. They added Ochre Court in Newport and Deering Community Church in Deering, NH, to their busy recital schedule. She also sang at Blithewold in Bristol, RI. She had the distinct honor to be chosen for the first American Art Song Competition sponsored by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The auditions were held in Jordan Hall, Boston.
During this time Jane was an adjunct voice instructor at Barrington College, Providence College, and Rhode Island College and had memberships in several music clubs, serving as president of Henschel and Chopin Clubs. She also sang the role of Musetta in Ruffino Opera's production of Puccini's La Boheme. In Providence, she was the soprano soloist at Central Church with her performances as soloist for Brahms' Requiem and Temple Emmanuel Holocost highlighted. During her time in RI, she was privileged to give recitals for the Lyric Opera Guild and sing at her father's conservatory in Chicago.
It was always special to make music with students in St. Andrew's Chapel. She will never forget Sweeney Todd when the lead almost left between acts! And, the more informal times together around her piano. She remembers the most special performance came at the end of her twenty-one year tenure at St. Andrew’s. At that time she was invited to sing with the RI Philharmonic for the Gala Celebration in 1991. She was so happy when they asked her to sing again in 1995! There is nothing quite like singing with an orchestra! Her singing and teaching continued in California at Steve's school and in her own studio. She gave concerts at her church and Nueva School in Hillsborough, CA, where she also taught. In 1997, she and Steve retired to their beloved farmhouse in Deering, NH, where she was given the opportunity to lead the Hillsborough-Deering-Washington Community Chorus which she enjoyed for ten years. Steve was a fine pianist who entertained folks with his jazz and played for her to sing a medley of show tunes now and then. A highlight for them together was being selected as Citizens of the Year by the Hillsborough Chamber of Commerce in 2006: Steve for his outstanding contribution as member of the Hillsboro-Deering School Board for two terms and Jane for serving three terms as president of the Hillsborough Historical Society. To feel the connection to their community of Deering, they decided to join the Deering Community Church where she is now in her fourteenth year as music director. She leads a small choir and plays the piano for what is now Zoom church each Sunday! The church misses singing together during this pandemic but music continues to nurture her soul.
The years when Jane and Steve were a part of the St. Andrew's community remains the most satisfying for the wonderful exchanges they had as a family with both staff and students. Besides her active musical career, she enjoyed sewing, knitting, wallpapering, gardening, antiques, travelling, entertaining, concerts, opera, and art museums. She is most grateful for the 54 years of marriage with Steve and being blessed with their loving children, John and Carrie. John and his wife, Tracy, have extended our family with her three lovely grandchildren (Turner, age 20, Jack, age 18, and Greer, age 14) to enjoy! Her career success could not have happened without Steve's support.
She would like to take this opportunity to thank several people who have touched her heart in special ways; Dotty McCulloch, whose friendship she will always cherish as she shepherded their getting settled into the Rectory and including her in those delightful luncheons she provided for the ladies in the long ago St. Andrew's Association; Sheila Martin, who made a little memorial garden for her daughter, Carrie; Amy and David Tinagero, for their kindness and warm welcome; and Pam Farmer, for all the love and special care she so generously gives her. These individuals all enrich her life in countless ways!
She is most grateful and humbly honored to be sharing the tribute from St. Andrew's with Sheila and Dotty at the 2021 Saints Gala! She looks forward to being together with everyone in person in the near future. However, isn't Zoom wonderful? When it's safe to come back to campus, she knows it will feel like an extra special home-coming!