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Ann Hudspeth ’82: Passion For Music Nurtured By A Teacher

02_AlumBlog_Bowman-TownsendIn December, we sent out a mailing to all alumni who graduated from St. Andrew’s before we added the Upper School with the goal of re-connecting. We have found many whose addresses had been lost. As we hear from these early alums, we plan to post several blog articles about “Found Alums.” The first is Ann Hudspeth, who graduated from the sixth grade in 1982.AnnHudspeth_AlumBlog_01Ann is currently a User Experience Architect at Dell. She moved back to Austin in 2012 after spending twenty years in Seattle. A graduate of Vassar College in 1992, she moved west with her musical talent and has been singing ever since. Along the way, she earned an MBA from the University of Washington and worked at Microsoft for 12 years. We were able to meet, and Ann helped me identify many people from candid pictures that we have gathered from the Lower and Middle School of activities during the time she attended St. Andrew’s. In addition, she had a great scrapbook and is allowing me to share highlights with you!

When I asked Ann if there was a particular teacher who she remembered the most, she gave a quick answer. “The teacher that encouraged me the most was Mrs. Elkjer. She was the music teacher and she thought I had potential in music and I loved her class.” Music is important to Ann! She has been in bands from an early age. Let me introduce you to The Texans.AnnHudspeth_AlumBlog_02
Pictured above are The Texans: Ann Hudspeth, Pam Gibbs, John Gage, and Jennifer Coats. The group once sang on The Noon Show with Cactus Pryor and even asked for guidance from Austin American Statesman advice columnist, Ellie Rucker, about ways to get more gigs! Their most memorable experience was singing for Lady Bird Johnson and Liz Carpenter and receiving payment in silver dollars.

Below left is a picture of Ann with Mrs. Elkjer. Below right is the response from Ellie Rucker’s advice column.AnnHudspeth_AlumBlog_03
Ann continues to sing and is looking to start a new band in the not too distant future. She has produced songs under her Little Sureshot label, named after Annie Oakley. Here is a link to some of her music.
AnnHudspeth_AlumBlog_04Ann helped me identify former students and classmates in over 1,000 pictures. As we went through the photos, it became clear that Ann and John Gage were best friends, as they were often photographed together. Here is a picture of John in Moses and the Freedom Fanatics.
AnnHudspeth_AlumBlog_05Along with music, Ann’s passion is dog rescue and welfare. She volunteers and is a foster parent with the Austin Humane Society, Austin/American Pets Alive!, and the Classic Canines of Austin Animal Center. “I actually have four dogs at my house right now!  It’s wonderful and always entertaining!  My long term goal is to create a non-profit that lobbies for animal welfare.”

Ann also shared a great piece of school lore! The picture below was taken recently of a stone carved by Ms. Sharp’s class when Ann was in her class. Do you know where to find this secret hieroglyph? Hint: It is located somewhere on the Lower School campus.
AnnHudspeth_AlumBlog_06
Thanks for sharing Ann. We’ll keep an ear out for Little Sureshot, and an eye out for the archaeological phenomenon you left for future students to find.

Note: Lower school scientists, if you find the historic stone, be sure to take a picture of yourself next to the stone and send it to us. We’ll post the first five pictures we receive on the alumni blog.

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