I was born into a family of 9 in a very small town in Virginia. Music played a pivotal role in my life from the very beginning. It was at home that I learned the value of telling the story behind the music and how powerfully that story can move the listener and impact one's life. I learned how vital it is to convey emotion in the music by watching my father’s facial expressions and body language when he listened to music.
I had one year of formal piano lessons when I was nine years old and another year when I was 13. It was during those lessons that I learned to read music. The rest of my musical ability seemed to come to me naturally. For a brief time, as a teenager, I sang in a band at musical functions in my neighborhood. In this band was a pianist, a sixteen- year-old boy who would later become my husband. I composed and sang my first piece in the band when I was 15.
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