Aline Shader (1936-2002) was a prolific composer of children’s songs with a portfolio of over 200 compositions. Her most well known work, Here in My House, written in 1970 and published by Coronet Press in 1982, is a winter holiday song about Christmas and Hanukkah which is sung by thousands of school children across the United States each year.
Aline graduated from Bard College in 1958 with a bachelor’s degree in dance. After graduation she performed in cabaret and off-Broadway reviews and in the national touring company of The Boy Friend. In the mid-1960’s Aline and her family settled in Newton MA where she started teaching drama at Bowen Elementary School. She began writing incidental music to the plays she directed and developed musical productions of her own based on children’s literature, American history, mythology and the Bible. A life long learner, Aline earned a master’s degree in education from Cambridge College in 1983.
In 1993 Here in My House was orchestrated by Eric Benjamin with its debut by the Akron Symphony Orchestra and Chorus followed by performances in Memphis TN and Newton MA.
In 1998, a selection of Aline’s songs were recorded at Berklee College of Music in Boston MA with singers from Newton elementary and middle school honors choruses, conducted by Charlotte Brumit and Sara Weiss with special guest singers Nancy Armstrong, Vance Gilbert, Kemp Harris and Julie Silver, accompanied by Ruth Ross, friends and family and engineered by Carl Beatty. The CD Singing To Benefit Children, won an “Audio Recommendation” award from the Parents’ Choice Foundation and was used to raise funds for non-profit organizations dedicated to supporting the health, welfare and education of children.
To Aline’s delight, a 10 song collection was published by E. C. Schirmer Music Company.
“Aline Shader provides a wonderful opportunity for children to become involved with music.”
Yo-Yo Ma, speaking about Shader’s work on Singing To Benefit Children
Aline was a composer-in-residence at elementary and middle schools throughout the Northeast. While working in Chelsea, MA she composed Una luna brilla (One moon shines) to give her students, most of whom were bilingual, the opportunity to sing in both English and Spanish. Selected by the National Association for Music Education as part of the 19th annual “World’s Largest Concert” Una luna brilla was performed by the Children’s Chorus of Washington, accompanied by the American Youth Philharmonic, on March 13, 2003. The event was broadcast on PBS from Washington DC to an international audience of 6 million people from 175 countries.
A special trio including Lily Bayrock, Sami Greenberg and Elana Rome (and quartet when Aline’s granddaughter Anna Zonderman joined the group) spent countless hours with Aline singing songs and performing in benefit concerts.
In 2001 Aline’s music was featured in the Newton New Philharmonia’s holiday concert.
In 2005 Julie Silver, a dear friend and one of Aline’s former students, recorded For Love To Grow, another collection of her songs. The CD is a Parent’s Choice 2006 “Recommended Award” winner.
For over 50 years, Aline’s songs have been a source of joy and inspiration for singers and audiences alike.