Andy Anselmo, vocal coach to the stars, says that everything a singer needs to know is in the song “Over the Rainbow.” There is a beauty in that, seeing that he and Harold Arlen, the man who wrote the song, are both from Buffalo.
“Over the Rainbow,” Anselmo says, has all the challenges a singer could face. There is the initial octave leap (“Somewhere…”) And the up-and-down motion in “If happy little bluebirds fly…”
“There are fourths, fifths, everything,” Anselmo says. “We always ended student shows with everyone singing ‘Over the Rainbow.’ ”
“Student shows” has a sweet, modest sound.
And Anselmo, who is 88 and jokes about his childhood on Buffalo’s West Side, could be described as modest. But there his nothing modest about his students, who are smiling down from photos on the walls of his Williamsville home. Among them are Tony Bennett, Liza Minnelli and Mandy Patinkin. To the world, they are legends.