"My earliest musical memories include watching my parents sing together. My dad would play guitar and they would sing old songs like 'Edelweiss', 'Sunshine on my Shoulders' and 'Senior Don Gato.' They were always singing together and performing together.
My first piano lessons were taught by Sister Helen Ann, an old nun who somehow always knew when I hadn't practiced. My dad, a very accomplished classical pianist would help me quite a bit to learn the classics and master my piano technique. I continued to train and develop my piano skills through college. Since the second grade I had been playing the violin in school. My mother received a bachelor's degree in music, her principle instrument being the violin. Each morning I had to practice both the violin and the piano. All I remember is that I hated to practice. I know I am not the only one! But all I can say is that you won't regret it if you keep practicing. Now days I love to practice!
During my sixth grade year my mom suffered and died from a brain tumor. What I remember from that is how much we prayed for her and how often she had to leave for surgeries and doctors appointments. I don't remember everything about that time in my life, but I do remember that my mother loved me and I loved her, and I suppose that is the most important memory I have about her. I began to take violin lessons the next year and continued playing through college. I have always enjoyed playing with a small ensemble, however I don't consider myself a polished violinist. I mostly play for fun. I had always always always wanted to take voice lessons but had to wait till I was in college to begin. Of course I had been singing all my life and was given many opportunities to sing solos in school, community, and church performances. But at eighteen I began my formal vocal training at a community college close to Seattle. I loved it! I couldn't get enough. I seemed to practice every chance I could get. With the direction from Mrs. Trainer (my first voice teacher), I was able to improve exponentially. It was like my abilities were held back all these years, just waiting for this moment. I continued to take classical voice lessons for the next eight years. However, two of those years I took off to serve an LDS mission to Washington DC. I guess it wasn't entirely void of performing because I seemed to have the opportunity to sing quite often there. In fact, my companions and I made a simple album of hymns for our friends there. Those were very special times for me that I will never forget.
Throughout my life I had been composing and arranging songs for myself and others. It was like second nature to me. In elementary school my dad taught me to play the guitar and so I had two instruments that I could use to accompany my songs. I have always loved to record music and experiment with different sounds and harmonies. In college I loved music theory. It fascinated me and I could apply the information to the music I was writing. Most of the music I wrote before my mission was of a secular nature. Most of it has a heavier instrumentation and intense vocals. Not until after my mission did I make it a serious study to write and arrange religious music. This has become my love. There is nothing more fulfilling to me than to share my talents in a way that will direct souls to Christ. When I discovered this love, I, from then on pursued this venue of performance. I have felt very fortunate to have met Rob Gardner and have been able to share my testimony of Christ and His gospel through Rob's music in Utah and Arizona. It was Rob who encouraged me to write my arrangements down in sheet music form. I didn't want to at first because, frankly, it is time consuming. But I found myself at one point with writer's block and so I finally started to write down on paper the music I had already written in my head. Suddenly I had so many musical ideas I hardly could write them all down. Writer's block has been gone ever since, but now I can write for more instruments and can share my music more widely.
'Lead Kindly Light' is just a few of the arrangements I have been able to record so far. I hope to create more albums in the future. My husband Trevor and I have been performing together since before we met (that is just about accurate!). Trevor is very creative in writing songs and is a talented singer and guitar player. Have I come full circle? Yes, just like I observed my parents, my husband and I now sing the old songs, as well as new songs. I have dreamed of it my entire life, and the dream has come true."