A Little Hello

Hello, friends! It has been some months since my last post, so here is a little update! During this strange post-2020 era, life has been pretty unpredictable. (Alas, is there anyone on the planet whose life has not been unpredictable in the past year and a half?) I defended my dissertation two days before the nation shut down (minimizing gigs and academic jobs). I was so happy to finish my DMA, and all I could do was laugh at the irony when the world turned upside down at that exact moment! Nevertheless, I continued to press forward, exercising faith and joy each day. I have been practicing a lot, piling on new repertoire, and teaching college students. Life in 2021 looks nothing like I had hoped, but I continue to seek its potential for surprise, purpose, and fulfillment. Meanwhile, I anticipate wonderful music-making moments in the future. I always say, “Good things are to come!” But I actually believe that the best is yet to come!

The most wonderful silver lining to this strange life chapter is that I have been able to spend more time with my family. Above is a picture of me with my three exuberant nephews. They are my heart’s delight!

Lately, my family roles as daughter, sister, and aunt have reminded me that life is not actually about my musical accomplishments at all. Life is about using my gifts for service, whether that means using my musical gifts on a stage, or using my other gifts offstage. Right now, I’m keeping my musical gifts sharp in my practice shed, while I step more fully into my other roles and abilities. To whatever level the gigs re-emerge, I will be immensely overjoyed! But even if that never happens, I have figured out a way to have a small measure of autonomy in my music making life. That is, I am commissioning tracks from my instrumental friends and creating some pretty cool recordings in my shed! These recordings include everything from lesser known baroque songs to never-before-heard world premiere songs. In 2019, singing to tracks may have been considered a faux pas. But in 2021, it’s the newest, coolest thing! It keeps me in the game while live rehearsals continue to be hindered, and it has provided some really great opportunities for growth! Just as importantly, this endeavor has given me peace about my future as a musician, because I have proven to myself that I will be able to find creative ways to continue making music at a high level, no matter what my external circumstances may be.

I want to be honest about the fact that the past fifteen months have presented some deep and tangible struggles. I don’t want to present a rose-colored version of my journey. However, I do choose to “accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, have faith in the affirmative, and don’t mess with Mr. In-Between.” Honestly, Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters were onto something! And for me, clinging to that “mindset of faith” has made all the difference.

Next →