Where are you from?
I was born in Dover, Delaware. My early youth was spent in northern parts of New Jersey and briefly in Pennsylvania. The last 3 years of high school we moved to Schenectady, New York.
When did you start playing? What made you choose your instrument?
I began playing piano at age 5 and then at 10 years old I started playing the clarinet. The way I remember it, my band director encouraged (tricked) me into switching to the oboe because no one else was playing it at the time and therefore I would get all the solos. So I guess the oboe picked me in that case! I was playing in the back of the elementary school clarinet section and moved right up to the front of the oboe section!
Where did you go to school?
I received a BM in performance from Indiana University. I immediately started a Masters in performance at Northwestern University but it was interrupted by my first professional orchestra job. I wanted to get back to finish but that never happened.
Tell us about your audition experiences?
I won several more auditions in various countries and played outside of the US for 8 years. My first audition back in the US was for the Virginia Symphony in 1987. The rest is history!
Describe your musical life in Hampton Roads.
My musical life in Hampton Roads could not be more fulfilling. Aside from playing in the Virginia Symphony I am on the adjunct faculty at two universities and maintain a full private teaching studio as well. With opportunities to play Chamber music with the Virginia Arts Festival and an occasional church service playing with the local choirs truly rounds out a very rewarding musical life.
What do you miss most during the pandemic?
The pandemic has done to me what it has done to artists around the globe - it has robbed us of doing what we are trained to do and love doing - playing with our colleagues.
Have you acquired any new skills or hobbies over these many months?
I will say that the exorbitant amount of free time we had while furloughed allowed me to check off an item on my bucket . I took a beginning French class at ODU to begin the journey of learning a new language. The virtual class was Covid friendly and wonderfully challenging. I also renewed my love of photography with an online teacher in California to help get me up to speed on digital photography. And I never had to leave home.
What are your interests outside of music?
I love to cook, ride my bike and watch great movies on Netflix with my husband! Traveling has always been my number one hobby and it will resume as soon as it is safe.
What is your most memorable musical experience?
I would have to say that the most challenging and memorable experience was playing and recording Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde for the Virginia Arts Festival with JoAnn Falleta conducting. Any time I play Mahler with JoAnn it is memorable.
Is there a question everyone asks you once they know what instrument you play?
There are a surprising number of people that do not know that professional oboists make their own reeds. They assume that we go to the local music store to get them. They almost always ask me how long it takes to make a reed and how long they last.
What do you enjoy about living in Hampton Roads?
This part of the country, and more specifically Hampton Roads is a wonderful place to live. Four lovely mild seasons, the Atlantic ocean within a stone's throw and beautiful mountains a car ride away.
Is there anything else you want us to know about you?
I married a wonderful violinist, Jorge, and we have a beautiful son Daniel who just recently married. It's been a wonderful 33 years and counting in the VSO.