A composer. A teacher. An accompanist. An experimenter full of “What if-” questions. My humble beginnings did not show a strong ability to sight-read the notes in my primer level piano book. However, something within drove me to try new combinations of sounds. To play by ear. It’s a similar concept of learning to talk first and then read later. I did, in time, learn to read the notes on the page. Music has always been an intricate part of me. Almost a sixth sense.
Music’s influences have played an important roll in my upbringing from my earliest years. My father would sing and let me strum his guitar while he held the frets – Mom daily enjoyed listening to the radio or hifi during my toddler years. A small, humble church choir allowed me to participate from the time I was just beginning to take my first steps! Even as I was still deciphering the vocabulary of grown-up conversation, the individual tones of the musical scale were developing into my “second language.” A fascination with film score and its emotional effects planted seeds for future imagination at the piano. Amusingly, I step back into my pre-teen years, remembering the time I discovered the melody line of the TV commercial for the Mello Yello soft drink. Among the delightful places I have lived in the world, opportunity has paved its way for me to be involved in musical settings – especially in the church. It has always been a privilege to accompany or provide music in the surroundings of worship or weddings or even funerals.
One of the most satisfying quests of my journey as a musician has been in teaching young people. Success for me is being able to pass on the joy of my art to new generations who show interest. Much of my composing journey has taken place because of the individual needs of my students. I needed the notes to be arranged on their level in a melody that would captivate them, so they would enjoy practice time at home.
Ultimately, my pursuit to fulfill a request for a CD of piano hymn arrangements blossomed into an adventurous journey of making professional recordings. In November of 2018, I recorded an album of sacred selections called All the Day Long. Nearly six months later, I set out to record a second album – this time a collection of original compositions called Lavender Fog – an album inspired by the earth’s beauty and enchantment that only a Divine Creator could imagine and produce. Both albums have been complimented with affectionate reviews by friends and new fans.
Music is a powerful element. It’s reflective nature can awaken feelings of warmth. Or sadness. Or joy. Or curiosity. Or emotions we never knew existed. Inspiration to compose most often shows up at random times. It is a God-given gift that sometimes gushes like a shooting fountain, or on occasion, dries itself up completely for a season. “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” I am eternally grateful for the gifts of inspiring seasons God has given to me, and one of my most rewarding benefits is, in fact, the blessing of connecting with the hearts of other people through music.