After a very late start (HS senior...), where I was DIScouraged by my musical parents (their defense being, I'm not a prodigy, so don't waste your time!) I graduated with a Batchelors in Piano Performance from the Conservatory of Music at Wheaton College (near Chicago). My mother later apologized for her lack of support, which meant alot to me. At Wheaton, I studied with a wonderful, caring teacher, Dr. Reginald Gerig ("Famous Pianists and Their Techniques"), who, when I told him "I don't belong here" (after hearing all the amazing music emanating from the practice rooms), said "You're supposed to be here". That was all I needed to hear! After graduating, I studied with Dr. William Phemister also a piano professor at Wheaton. He was instrumental in development of my technique. I was a CoPrincipal pianist for the Chicago Symphony training orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. We played under Carlo Maria Giulini, Pierre Boulez, Sir Georg Solti CSO conductor at the time) and many others. It was a great experience!
After moving to Minneapolis, I studied with Gary Sipes at the MacPhail School of Music, where I performed several solo recitals and also performed with orchestra, playing movements of concertos by Grieg, Tschaikovsky and Rachmaninov.
Returning to Chicago in '92, I began work as a Systems Analyst with Health Care Service Corp (Illinois Blue Cross/Blue Shield). It absorbed more and more of my time, unfortunately. I enjoyed the job, but it left little time for me at the piano. While in Chicago, as time permitted, I studied with Mary Sauer, the long-time pianist with the CSO (since 1959!) for several years, but was finding time at the piano becoming increasingly scarce, so I was not able to get as much out of the experience as I'd hoped.
My spouse and I moved to Dallas at the end of 2008. I arrived just in time for the Cliburn International held in 2009. Shortly after, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to study with Alex McDonald (Cliburn Competitor in '13), who has been a real supportive inspiration to me.
My late start in piano has left some difficulties for me. Overall general lack of musical self-esteem is the tantamount aftermath. Reading is scary and difficult, as is memorization, though both are improving. I have had performance anxiety issues, since I never really got any encouragement early on. Which is why I've joined this wonderful group. To get over my phobias, fears of performing, etc. To learn music more quickly and thoroughly. My goal is to get to the point where my practice and preparation becomes much more focused and reliable, so that I actually ENJOY playing for others. I had a short few years where I felt comfortable playing for audiences, but that was long ago. I want that back!