My interest in music began as a child playing on a “toy piano” that my grandmother purchased for me. I began playing songs by ear, first with one finger, then 2 fingers in thirds (and was quite perplexed at the lack of chromaticism noticing that things didn't always sound right!). My parents then gave me piano lessons. I was always encouraged to “play by ear”, and of course learn how to read music and play plenty of Bach!
I also took up the clarinet in 4th grade, and played in bands until the first year of high school. Once in high school, I became very interested in choir and voice, and sang with and accompanied the choruses. I had occasional opportunities to conduct the chorus. I also did “arranging” for the “swing choir”.
I went to Indiana University studying piano and also took
up viola to learn more about string instruments. I entered the university
expecting to teach music in high school, and earned Bachelor degrees in both
instrumental and choral music. Half way through the pursuit of those degrees,
I became interested in
conducting. I took graduate conducting classes while finishing my undergraduate work, and then continued on with a Masters Degree in Instrumental Conducting. I also held a graduate assistantship in music theory first, and then assistant conductor of the opera theatre later.
After receiving my Masters Degree, I started a Chamber Orchestra in the Chicago area, and raised money for the funding. From there, I spent two seasons as Assistant Conductor of the Omaha Symphony and Music Director of the Omaha Area Youth Orchestras (Youth Orchestras for one season). Then, my next job was the following year with the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra where I am finishing my 16th season.
My love of all kinds of music enriches my life, and my conducting gives me the opportunity to enrich others by sharing what I know with musicians and audiences alike.