We're All Born Singing
Book Cover

Inge Witt

Ingeborg Agathe Feiler Witt

November14, 1919 - January 19, 2018

Our mother passed peacefully
at her home in Pine Lake GA,
surrounded by love and music
and a tiny last taste of chocolate!
~ Elise & Mary


Help us celebrate a life well lived!


SAT. FEB. 24

2:00 p.m.
First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta
470 Candler Park Dr NE, Atlanta GA 30307

SAT. MAR. 10

2:00 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh 3313 Wade Avenue, Raleigh NC 27607

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:

The Global Village Project

Elise teaches at this special purpose
middle school for teenage refugee girls

Tapestry Health

A western Massachusetts organization providing comprehensive community-based health services

Alternate ROOTS

Inge & Elise are longtime members
of this coalition of artists working
at the intersection of arts and activism

Institute for Musical Arts

A Western Massachusetts
music camp for girls
Ingeborg Agathe Feiler Witt aka Inge, was born in Frankfurt am Main Germany on Nov. 14, 1919. She was a singer, pianist, jeweler, dancer, teacher, linguist, gardener, and a lifelong gentle activist for peace and justice. She was also a daughter, a mother, a wife, and a friend to more people than is even imaginable. Outpourings of love have been flowing in from around the world.
Inge's mother Helene Elise Pringsheim was a seamstress and her father Erich Feiler a dentist and university professor. In 1936 when the threat of fascism was growing in Germany, the family emigrated to England. Inge studied at St. Paul's Girls School, and worked with her father in his dental lab.
After her father's early death, the family moved to Oxford, where Inge got her BA Honours Degree and began a series of interesting jobs including working for Kurt Hahn, founder of Outward Bound, and then at the BBC as a translator, where she became part of “the Duchesses,” a 6-woman circle of German immigrants. When the war ended, the Duchesses returned to Germany to work for the Americans, decoding and translating. There she met my father Peter Nikolaus Witt, who was studying medicine and had been working underground as a medic.
When they got married, my parents decided to start a new life in Switzerland, where my father's family had citizenship. My mom loved Switzerland, and I think she would have loved to stay there the rest of her life. My parents loved to make music together. My dad played cello and my mom played piano and recorders, and they loved to have “house music” with friends. They also sang duets (Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schumann) and in Bern, joined the city choir. She was singing while she was carrying me.
Her best friend since they were 7 in Frankfurt, Anna Gisela von Haller aka "Puppi" (my godmother) also moved to Bern, and both my grandmothers were “imported” to make a new life post-war. Anna Gisela was also one of the Duchesses, with whom my mom shared adventures in England, then Germany, then Switzerland and the United States. and she and my mom continued their close friendship across continents for the rest of their lives.
In 1956, we moved to the United States, where my father pursued his career as a professor and research pharmacologist at the Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse NY. We lived in Manlius, just outside the town limits, where we could have goats, a donkey and a big garden. My sister Mary was born in 1957, and once we had both started school, my mother taught French at Cazenovia College and started studying jewelry making. Every 4 years we would return to Switzerland for 4 summer months, where my dad and his closest friend and colleague Charles Reed would work, and our families would learn French and enjoy Swiss life.
In 1966, we moved to North Carolina. My father at age 50 had decided to make a major career shift, and took a job as Head of Research for the State of North Carolina in Raleigh. We moved to a 35.1 acre farm in Knightdale, where we were regarded with curiosity and some trepidation (rumor had it that a Spanish family had moved to the old Huchison farm, and that we spoke no English!). The farm expanded to include guanacos, moufflon, rheas, emus and chickens. My mom started making goat cheese and yoghurt and baking bread. Her bread recipe was included in the NC Museum of Art cook book.
Following a reunion with her childhood Dalcroze Eurhythmics teacher Henny Rosenstrauch, my mom was inspired to return to school and get her teaching degree. Integration was long in coming to rural North Carolina, and she became a teachers’ aide at Lockhart, the segregated Black elementary school. She taught Music and French and German, and through her work with the Raleigh Chamber Music Guild, brought musicians from all over the world to Lockhart Elementary.
Inspired by the efficiency of public transportation, especially trains, in Switzerland, she tried to get a commuter train running from Raleigh to Knightdale, and other outlying towns. She made quite a splash on the local news, with all the children and adults she had gathered to rally behind the cause.
Her love of children and teaching led her to teach at Meredith College, where she taught piano and Dalcroze Eurthythmics until her retirement. A lifelong learner, she continued to take piano lessons with her dear friend and colleague Tom Lohr. Every Friday they would meet for lunch and a lesson. Around this time, she was awarded the Medal of the Arts, celebrating her long involvement with a multiplicity of arts.
When my father “could no longer lift a bale of hay,” my parents left the farm and moved into town. My mom continued her jewelry making at the Red Door Studio with friend and colleague Ann Cowperthwaite. In Raleigh, at age 70, with the help of friends architect Fred Stewart and contractor Greg Paul, my parents designed and built their first house, where they lived and welcomed friends and family from around the world, until my father passed in 1998.
Elise, Inge, Cake & Candles
In 2002 my mom moved to Pine Lake Georgia, where she continued to make music with students and friends. She loved improvising on her piano that sat in her bedroom. She came with me to any and all opportunities to experience life, and especially music. She lived in her own house until the very end, with a series of wonderful housemates - Harriette Buegel, Jo Hamby, Mary Beth Megrew, and Christine Peck.
For the last year and a half of her life, she entertained and was cared for by a team of angels, Peggy Lukonde Manda Goeller and Kudiratu Adewale Alawiye, who have become part of our family. And until a few weeks before her passing, she was still coming to my singing classes, attending concerts at the Global Village Project where I teach, and entertaining all who surrounded her with her wit(t) and wisdom.
Her circle of friends and admirers is as large as the path of the earth around the sun.
Peggy, Christine, Inge, Kudi, Cake & Candles

Elise's Upcoming Schedule

Jan. 29 - Mar. 5 ~ Atlanta GA

7:30 - 8:45 p.m. Singing for Fun for Everyone ~ 6-week series @ Candler Park Yoga Studio

Feb. 9 ~ Decatur GA

2:00 p.m. Authors' Tea @ The Global Village Project

Feb. 24 ~ Atlanta GA

2:00 p.m. Inge Witt: A Celebration of Life @ First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta

Mar. 9 ~ Raleigh NC

1:30 & 2:30 p.m. A Musical Trip Around the World @ Smith Elementary School

Mar. 10 ~ Raleigh NC

2:00 p.m.Inge Witt: A Celebration of Life @ Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh

Mar. 12 - April 16 ~ Atlanta GA

7:30 - 8:45 p.m. Singing for Fun for Everyone ~ 6-week series @ Candler Park Yoga Studio

April 7 ~ Raleigh NC

NATURAL RHYTHMS Residency w/Terry Garthwaite & Becky Reardon, Elise Witt
2:00 - 5:00 p.m. Singing Workshop / Community Sing
5:30 p.m. Pot Luck Dinner
7:00 p.m.Concert
@ West Raleigh Presbyterian Church

April 13 ~ Decatur GA

2:00 p.m. Authors' Tea @ The Global Village Project

April 20 ~ Atlanta GA

Space is the Place - multi-media, multi-disciplinary celebration @ Drew Charter School

April 23 - May 15 ~ Atlanta GA

7:30 - 8:45 p.m. Singing for Fun for Everyone ~ 5-week series @ Candler Park Yoga Studio

April 24 ~ Decatur GA

7:00 p.m. Global Village Chorus sings @ Decatur Library

May 2 ~ Atlanta GA

Spring Concert @ Drew Charter School

July 21 ~ Florence MA

An Impromptu Glorious Chorus™ vocal workshop / community sing @ Florence Civic Center

July 22 ~ Somerville MA

An Impromptu Glorious Chorus™ vocal workshop / community sing @ Third Life Studio

July 28 - Aug. 5 ~ Mad River Valley VT

All the Way In singers summit w/Rhiannon @ Knoll Farm

Aug. 7 - 12 ~ Arden NC

Alternate ROOTS Week @ Lutheridge

Oct. 6-7 ~ Pine Lake GA

Pine Lakefest, Lakeside

Oct. 26-28 ~ Atlanta GA

Rhiannon in Atlanta - details TBA

Nov. 8-11 ~ Pt. Richmond, Pt. Reyes, Santa Rosa CA

NATURAL RHYTHMS Concerts & Workshops w/Terry Garthwaite & Becky Reardon, Elise Witt, details TBA


June 23-29 ~ Brasstown NC

An Impromptu Glorious Chorus™/ Harmony Singing for All - A week-long singing workshop in the beautiful NC mountains @ John C. Campbell Folk School

We're All Born Singing