Joan Singer graduated from Earlham College with a BA in English literature. She immediately accepted a position as teacher of English, music and pre-colonial history at the John F. Kennedy School in Queretaro, Mexico. Prior to moving to Mexico her love was French language and culture, so she was amazed to discover the old guard of Queretaro was French-speaking. Thus began a life-long love affair with the unexpected delights of Latin America. After her teaching stint, she returned to the USA to complete a master’s in music at DePauw University, where she served as adjunct faculty for one year. In 1966 she married a fellow-teacher from Escuela JF Kennedy and they settled in Bloomington, IN, so he could pursue his PhD in physics. Joan took a position as undergrarduate counselor and pre-law advisor for the political science department. Two children and ten years later, the Singers moved to Alexandria, VA. During the next 25 years, Joan was a free-lance violinist in the DC area, as well as a tenured member of the Baltimore Opera Orchestra. Inaugural balls, national TV shows, pit orchestras, Wolf Trap, recording gigs, the Crystal Strings, concerts with Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Smoky Robinson, tours with Fayrouz – her life was a musical kaleidoscope. During those years, the family also lived abroad in three locations -Mexico City, where Joan was a member of the professional UNAM orchestra; Cambridge, England, and Lyon, France, where Joan performed with numerous chamber music groups.
Once the nest was empty, the various strands of all these experiences starting knitting themselves together. Joan first organized a European tour (Holland, Germany, France and Italy – all the places she had good friends) for her chamber quartet. During their stay in Holland she met a young Dutch bandoneon player whose enthusiasm for tango and generosity with his library set her on a new path. Eventually her love of interacting with audiences and her passion for tango music became priorities and she slowly withdrew from her other activities.For over twenty years she has focused her energies on QuinTango, working as manager, artistic director, booking agent, and violinist. Joan’s two children are grown; she continues to live in Alexandria, VA, with her husband Irwin, the teacher from JF Kennedy she married over 52 years ago, and without whose support this marvelous journey would not have been possible. Yes, it takes two to tango.