Music has always been my comfort, my friend, my entertainment, and the perfect way for me to express my feelings. When I was a child, I spent a lot of time alone. While my four older sisters were in school, I played alone in the yard and sang to myself. My first memory of performing is at age three, when my mother (also a singer) took me to visit her friend’s ancient Aunt Elizabeth and had me sing “Away in a Manger.” I was hooked!
I grew up with music – whether it was going with my mother when she sang at funerals, listening to the kitchen radio that was always on while Mom cooked and ironed, or singing around the piano with my sisters when Aunt Marion came to visit. By age seven, I knew just about every popular song recorded in the 1940s and ‘50s.
And of course I pursued my passion for music when I went to school. I was a member of the high school chorus as well as a select choir that performed at school concerts, outside events, and area nursing homes. I fell in love with musical theater when I was a teenager, and college saw me singing with the glee club and continuing to perform in musical theater. After I graduated, I was involved in plays and musicals with a number of community theater companies.
For the past 30 years as a soloist, I’ve sung primarily religious music at weekly services, weddings, and funerals. I find that the hymns, songs, and carols I perform at these times add emotional depth and speak to the listeners in ways that mere words cannot. The music helps connect the audience with the deeper spiritual part of their natures. Facilitating that connection is paramount to me. My intention is always to let the music speak, whether it be a message of rejoicing and inspiration or one of comfort and consolation. Music is healing for the heart and soul.
As for my own personal relationship with music, it is a vital part of who I am. It helps me express and release my feelings. It gives my emotions a voice. Just like my mother before me, I cook and clean and garden to the sound of music. Not a day goes by that I don’t sing. Maybe it’s something as simple and silly as an advertising jingle or as powerful and profound as an operatic aria. Music is my soul’s food.