Annetta Yvonne Monroe
July 29, 1940 – April 9, 2021
Annetta Yvonne Monroe, USF Professor Emeritus, passed away at her Temple Terrace home on April 9, 2021. She was 80 years old. She was born in West Virginia to Howard and Flossie Jones Monroe.
After receiving musical training at Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio, the Mozarteum Academy of Music in Salzburg, Austria, and Columbia University in New York City, Annetta performed as a concert artist throughout the United States and Canada and sang with opera companies in Europe. She was soprano soloist with the Norman Luboff Choir, frequently performed as a solo recitalist, and was a featured soloist with the Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall. She recorded music for Disney (including the original soundtrack for the “It’s a Small World” attraction), Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, and MGM Studios in Los Angeles.
After joining the University of South Florida Music Faculty in 1973, where she taught for over 30 years, Annetta continued to perform in solo recitals, as a Guest Artist with the USF Orchestra and Chorus, and as soprano soloist with the Florida Orchestra. She supported the University by being a Distinctive Donor to the USF School of Music. Annetta was an inspiration and beloved mentor to her thousands of vocal students, who achieved national careers in opera companies, as solo artists, on Broadway, and in music education. Her students and colleagues considered Annetta one of the premier vocal teachers and mentors in the country. To the day of her passing, her talented students still remained in close touch with her.
Annetta taught at several young artist programs including Broadway Theatre Project and International Institute of Vocal Arts. She was co-founder of the Spiritual Renaissance Singers of Tampa, an organization committed to the revival and performance of African American spirituals. She was also Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church of Tampa and was a member of Gamma Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Tampa Chapter of National Epicureans, Inc.
In addition to her USF colleague and dear friend Ann Hawkins, Annetta leaves behind a huge number of friends and students who treasure memories of her insightful teaching, infectious smile, and ebullient personality.
A private service for family will be conducted at Blount & Curry Funeral Home in Temple Terrace. Our hope is that as the Covid recovery progresses we will be able to have a life celebration for Annetta at USF, open to all. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Flossie Jones Monroe Voice Scholarship through the USF Foundation at https://foundation.usf.edu.
Private Funeral Service
Saturday, May 1, 2021
Annetta Yvonne Monroe
May 1, 2021
We shall always miss her beautiful smile, her sense of humor, her masterful teaching and musicianship and her ability to always care for others. Netta had such a special soul and she made the world a better place. Love to her from all.
April 30, 2021
I was a student (and later an employee & faculty wife) at USF School of Music in the 1980s. Altho not studying voice, I had many interactions with Annetta. She was full of love. She was full of passion for her craft. And it was obvious she was a fantastic teacher and mentor. My heart breaks for her family, her bestie Ann Hawkins and for all those lives she's touched. But she's singing with the angels now and that's what's supposed to be.
April 29, 2021
Teaching me how to find, move, guide and resonate “the air” or breath properly as vocalist, as well how to find the bravery to fully hand over my emotions and myself to an audience as the giver and story-teller of a song were a big part of my training with her. She constantly reminded me that I’ve got to trust myself and my technique, and she broke down all of the barriers of worry, self-doubt and fear each time they tried to leak in - both in life and on the stage. She taught me how to find “focus” to turn on my analytical, technical side for voice study, and how to flip the switch to turn it off completely, where you find yourself in the moment of the performance, and you find that calm and peace in it. In casting aside all this, it’s there where you find the freedom to be the artist. At the time I had no idea that her “focus, release, relax, in” motto was more than just vocal technique. But more so than these things, it’s her fierce love and steadfast devotion to her students that sticks with me most today as a music teacher, and she displayed and modeled that for me every day of her life, in every lesson, studio session, casual visit at her house, phone call and at every performance of mine she never, ever missed throughout the years...even after college and into my adult life. She knew that to truly unlock the artist, that you’ve got to break down and unlock the person, and you do this by accepting and loving them as they are - and sometimes with tough love - while showing them their potential of who they can be. She truly gave herself and her gifts to others boldly, and told me that the goal was for my “vocation and advocation to line up with one another, to be the same in order to truly find a treasure. She couldn’t have been more right! At the time, I didn’t know she was turning me into a TEACHER in addition to a performer, and it’s her words and her strong yet gentle voice that I hear all the time, along with that infectious, explosive laugh of hers.
April 29, 2021
I miss you Annetta. You kept working on me even though I came to you with complete skepticism and full of selfish pride. I knew nothing, and was a complete hack, and you saw more. You just kept pressing me to do more, and learn more, and try more. You always encouraged me, and gently broke down my barrier of scepticism, until finally I could "focus and blossom."
The back row is not empty though. For all of us who were blessed to learn from you; your image, words, smile, pantomime, and encouragement live on. Through every performance I give, every lesson I teach, every red lipped, performance dress code, and sip of sangria. I'll be thinking of you.
April 28, 2021
Anetta judged some of my students here in Pensacola and put the students at ease. Her wonderful smile and and sense of humor and gentle spirit made the students feel at ease . She was most encoraging. She made a lasting impression and spread joy and love to all.
April 28, 2021
What a beautiful and joyful lady was Annetta! My favorite memories are seeing her flashing smile and hearing her rich voice in the halls of the School of Music at USF, where she spread her artistry and love of life with her many friends and students. Heaven must be rocking with her wonderful voice and spirit!
Angela (Tina) Williams
April 27, 2021
Ms Monroe was like a second mom to me. She never accepted mediocre effort. She expected excellence. She instilled great work ethic and lead by example. She poured her passion for music into all of her students. She was truly more than a professor. She was a friend & Soror. She knew when we needed a word of encouragement to get us back on track. She was there for my wedding, my baby shower and other milestones in my life. I love her so much and I will miss her. Best part- I will see her again in that heavenly choir! They better get ready💗💚🎶
April 27, 2021
When first meeting Annetta Monroe....you knew you were meeting someone SPECIAL....the look of determination, love, caring, and a gentleness were in her eyes. I am fortunate to get to know her through my husband, James Osborn jr. She was his Mentor, teacher, friend for over 30 years. She sang at our Holy Union in 2001. She had so many stories to tell....you never got bored listening to the fascinating places, and people that she had meet throughout her life. Annetta will be missed by so many people for she touched thousands of lives.....I'm blessed that I got to know her over the past twenty years. It's now your time to rest and sing with the angels.
Melanie and Leo Vandal
April 25, 2021
Netta was our dear neighbor and friend for over 25 yrs. We enjoyed our lunches together at Outback and Miller’s. When first I heard her beautiful singing voice coming from her house as she was giving a lesson to a student I thought it was a songbird! Now she is singing in heaven with God’s choir of angels. We will miss her.
With sincere condolences , Melanie and Leo Vandal
April 21, 2021
Annetta was a dear friend and neighbor. We will miss her and the friendly chats as well as singing “Auld Lang Syne” while holding hands. It was a privilege to be her neighbor.
April 18, 2021
Our family has fond memories of Miss Annetta’s beautiful voice and kind soul at First Presbyterian Church, Tampa. She will be missed and remembered by so many.
Deadrs Johnson - Griffeth
April 17, 2021
I remember well my audition for the USF Vocal Scholarship in 1984. Dr Monroe was so affirming and supportive and I won the scholarship, She will be sorely missed. Her talents were irreplaceable. Deadra
Barbara Terry Collins
April 17, 2021
My memories of Annetta date back to 1945-1950 , Beckley, West Virginia when Annetta came to my home for piano lessons from my mother, Dr. Louise M. Terry. In my mother's autobiography she writes "In this era, there was a very talented pupil studying under me, beginning at the age of five. When she was nine years old and could give a full evening's performance in recital, she was ready to do the "Nutcracker Suite." I deem it a privilege and a blessing to have known Annetta and to know that she used her God given gifts to teach and mentor others. May she rest in peace
April 17, 2021
I n 1992 I became a soloist in a church in the Bay area. I was really new to doing this. I sang with a natural gift but had no training. I found out about this amazing voice teacher who was at USF Tampa. I looked her up and she agreed to help me find and fine-tune my vocal instrument! Annetta was so kind to me! But she didn't go easy on me either. The hours I spent with her were rugged! She sensed that I needed that.
Then there came a time when I had the opportunity to sing with The Spiritual Renaissance Singers! What a blessing it was for me. Annetta didn't know it but my family was struggling with a health issue and my thinking was in constant emotional turmoil. Singing with Annetta and the group helped me get through this crisis. It was so uplifting! I cherish this memory.
In closing, I feel Annetta's example of a life of service to others has touched so many people. She truly cared deeply for everyone she met. The world is a better place because of her being here. Rest in peace, Annetta.
April 16, 2021
My memories of Anetta are strong and wonderful. As a soloist with the Norman Luboff Choir, I remember her vivacious personality present in every solo she sang ... and I remember her wonderful spirit of love and kindness. May she forever rest in Peace and enjoy her time in Heaven with our Lord and Saviour! Jackson Berkey, pianist with the Norman Luboff Choir.
April 16, 2021
Annetta, you will remain a bright spot in both my personal and professional lives and memories. Brilliant, illustrious, supremely gifted, generous, loving, spiritual--all these and more are you. While you have passed from this earthly world, you live on in the "pay it forward" artistic gifts of your many students and mentees. We all hope to see you There.
Faith and Peter Dunne
April 16, 2021
We spent many wonderful, funny, and musical hours with Annetta and will miss her spirit greatly. She knew how to celebrate Christmas with excess, good food and fellowship. She was a beloved teacher and a loyal friend.
Grace Moorhead Gibbs
April 14, 2021
Dear Ms. Monroe, Today I'm remembering the singing competitions, the voice classes, your Christmas parties (and sangria), singing in your church choir, and the many concerts & good times. Thank you & may God bless you and keep you. Until we meet again, Grace
April 12, 2021
When I was getting ready to graduate high school, my counselor forget to send my transcripts to the schools. It was after the deadlines for almost all of them when this was discovered. My teacher Mr. Emery called Mrs. Annetta Monroe and asked if she could please still add me to the audition list even though it was already closed. She did. I got accepted. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have gone to college. Because she did, I am the first. It was a small thing to her, probably, but it changed my life so much. I am forever grateful to her. I am so sorry for your loss. Please let me know if there is anything I can do in her memory to honor her, or to help you in this time.