I have been asked to provide for you the opportunity to get to know me better as your church organist/choir accompanist. Well, here we go!
I was born in Bay Shore, Long Island, New York. At the age of 3 my family and I moved to Hunterdon County New Jersey where we lived for 20 years. At the age of 7, I started picking out television commercials on my toy piano. My parents took this as a sign that I had some ability in that area and should consider piano lessons. Both my parents were musical: both played piano and my Dad also played the bagpipes and percussion.
At age 7, I started with piano lessons. At age 12, my teacher suggested to my mother that I might want to consider taking organ lessons as well. I took both organ and piano lessons all through high school, practicing piano in the morning before school and practicing organ at my family’s church after school.
In high school, I accompanied for the concert choir, mixed ensembles and all the school musicals. During my high school years and beginning of college, my father and I belonged to a highland bagpipe band. Both Dad and I were drummers competing in many highland competitions up and down the eastern seaboard as well as many parades. One special parade was the Princeton University “p rade” where we were approached to play at a special festival in Guadalajara, Mexico and Mexico City…all expenses paid. It was a wonderful experience for all of us. One other highlight was when I was in Norway and was asked to entertain in the dining room in a hotel. It turned out Victor Borge also entertained there when he was in town. That was a thrill for me!
I applied for early admission to Trenton State College (now known as College of New Jersey) at age 18 and was accepted. I was a piano and organ major with a minor in vocal. Through my 4 years there, I helped put myself through school accompanying incoming prospective voice majors, accompanied for undergraduate and master degree recitals. I also accompanied all 4 years for the concert choir.
When I graduated from college, I was unable to secure a teaching position right away and worked in a bank starting as a bank teller and then working my way up to branch manager and loan officer. I also taught piano lessons and was a church organist and choir director for a Reformed Church.
Dave and I got married 3 years after I graduated and had our 2 children, Andrea and Joe. Andrea lives in Minneapolis and Joe lives in Clifton Park New York. I continued teaching piano and organ as well as holding a number of church positions as the director of music. I did secure an elementary school teaching position (K-4) and enjoyed doing that as well.
In 2012, we made the “big” move from New Jersey to New Smyrna Beach. As you know, I have served this church as choir director and organist/choir accompanist. I continue to teach piano and do some accompanying work on the side when asked for by the high school and for personal recitals.
I am truly thankful to God for giving me the talent and ability to do what I do and to my parents for sacrificing what they did in life to make music possible for me in my life. I thank all of you at First Presbyterian for giving me the opportunity to share my abilities with you as well. God Bless!