Annie Zylstra is based in the vibrant Driftless Region of Wisconsin. She has been facilitating, writing, and collecting new and old polyphonic songs in the aural tradition for the last eight years. Annie believes that everyone can sing, and that using our voices to make beauty together is one of the best possible forms of pleasure activism available in a world of failing empires. Through this work, which is deep calling and bread and butter alike, she is committed to the anticapitalist aspiration of making one's work obsolete, dreaming of a world where songleaders are no longer needed because the world has remembered its collective voice. Annie's facilitation, rooted in a decade of classical musical training, ethnomusicology, and community leadership, is lively, accessible, and playful. She currently leads four polyphonic community choirs that sing new and traditional music in Viroqua and Madison, WI.
Annie is an astounding and charismatic carrier of oral tradition. Her leadership and music are captivating.
-Singing Alive Appalachia
Annie is a thoughtful, charismatic, and inspirational presence. She is at once a strong, vibrant leader and a gentle, patient, and flexible educator who seems to effortlessly bring forth and nourish the creativity, imagination, and sense of community within and amongst all of us. Learning with Annie is a uniquely joyful, colorful, and fulfilling experience.
-Ellie Turner, Illustrator
Annie is a gifted weaver of song. She has an innate ability to tune into the energy and expression of each unique voice within a group to facilitate a natural emergence of harmonious connection. I always leave an Annie-led group sing feeling more at ease in myself and in my energetic expression, and notice that this seems to be a shared experience among the group participants. This opening to joy in shared music making is of particular value in today's world, and I'm grateful for Annie's presence and skill and her commitment to offering opportunities for her community to experience singing in this way.
-Xochi John, Alexander Technique Practitioner
Singing with Annie is vigorously life giving.
-Judith Main, Artist