Where are you from?
I was born in Dallas, Texas, but ended up moving around quite a bit as a kid due to my dad’s job. I’ve lived on both coasts, in the south, and the midwest!
How did you come to play your instrument? Why did you chose it?
I come from a musical family, so I grew up with piano lessons, choir, and musical theater as a constant in my childhood. When I was in South Carolina,, I was presented with the ultimate decision to choose choir or band when I was in fifth grade. All of my friends were in band, so of course I followed suit. My dad’s coworker owned a clarinet from when she was in middle school and offered it to us, so that’s ultimately how I chose the clarinet! I made many honest efforts to ditch the instrument altogether, but somehow I kept coming back to it until I eventually decided to major in clarinet performance in college. I haven’t looked back since.
What has been your experience playing with VCE?
As the artistic director and clarinetist of Valley Chamber Ensembles, my experience with the group has been exhilarating. It’s such a crazy journey that each of our concerts takes us on. The concerts come out of some idea or another, generally with me or Cameron asking, “Can we really make this work?” and instead of seeing it as an obstacle, it becomes a challenge. We’ve programmed some intense, wonderful, and extremely rewarding works. The best part of all, is that I not only get to come up with the programming, but also get to experience it from the performer’s side, sharing the music and ideas all the way from point A to point Z.
What makes VCE different from other groups you’ve worked with?
Valley Chamber Ensembles is so different from any other group I’ve worked with. We collaborate with our fellow musicians and composers to come up with our unique programming and ideas. It’s such a tight-knit web of ideas and inspiration, and the final product that comes from it is unlike anything I’ve had the opportunity to work on. Each concert still brings me so much awe at the commitment, talent, and beauty that comes out of the performance.