Q. How did you first get started in music?
I grew up in Indianapolis, which is a great music town, or at least
it used to be 100 years ago. Everyone had to take chorus or a musical
instrument and it was part of the curriculum to start with voice in
kindergarten. I chose violin in fourth grade because I couldn’t get
anything else to make a sound. I would have loved to play cello but they
didn’t have smaller instruments and it was quite a bit larger than I
was. Even a viola was too big for me so I ended up with a ¾ size violin.
My family didn’t care for it but I liked it and was first chair violin
by the time I was in 8th grade. I would have been there sooner but I had
to wait all those years for the guy in front of me to graduate.
Q. Was the rest of your family musical?
They appreciated music but the only other person in my family who
showed any musical talent was my brother. He can literally pick up
almost any instrument and start playing, but he can’t sing a note, so
Q. Why did you initially stop playing?
My Dad lost his job and we moved to Illinois while I was in high
school. I couldn’t play violin because they only had a marching band at
my new school. I stopped singing precisely at the age of 17 when I had
my tonsils removed. I didn’t try singing again until joining the DePaul
Q. What brought you back to singing?
I think it was the same thing that happens to a lot of people. I had
lost my mom and I was looking for something to fill my time. My job had
also changed, so I needed something to fill both of those spaces and
thought that singing couldn’t hurt. Now that I’ve been in the chorus for
over ten years, it’s the people that keep me here. I’ve made wonderful
connections through music and I still find it amazing that 100 people
can sit around and make music together. During the summer some of us get
together on our own and sing. We do a performance at the end of the
Q. Do you have a favorite composter or piece?
It bounces all over. One of my all time favorites is Erik Satie. He’s
a bizarre mix of humor, simplicity and complexity that I really like.
How could you not like someone who, after reading a critique of his
work, objected to the comment that his music was shapeless and instead
said that his composition was in the shape of an orange?
Q. Do you have any musical goals that you’re working towards?
I kind of like doing what I’m doing now with the chorus. I’m just happy to make music.