As of this month, I am officially calling myself retired.  What does retired mean to a musician and music educator?  For me, it means that I still sing, play the piano and my harpsichord, but mostly for my own pleasure.  I am active in the music program at my church, Riviera United Methodist in Redondo Beach, CA, which includes solos, duets, the choir, and sometimes even subbing on the organ (but no feet!).  I am open to giving vocal lessons on a very short term basis, if someone needs a quick fix to prepare to a recital or an audition.  But, for regular lessons, I am passing the baton.  After all, that's what education is about, using the knowledge that was given to us, then passing it on to others.  Music has always been my life and I will continue using my gifts as long as I am able. I will always be grateful for the wonderful students, colleagues, and collaborators who have been a part of my musical life.  Life is a beautiful journey, full of blessing, love, and grace!

Life is a gift, and I am grateful for so many things and so many people who bless my life.  Growing up in Texas, I never imagined living close to the ocean.  But, here I am and here I have been most of my adult life.  This year had a few bumps in the road, but pretty soon Alan and I will be ready to rock and roll again.  He had both hips replaced, I had a knee replacement, more glaucoma surgeries, and arthroscopic surgery on my other knee.  I can’t wait to get back to my soul-feeding walks on the strand!   Teaching brings me so much joy and making music alone and with friends is just plain fun!  Whatever this year is going to bring, I look forward with anticipation! 

I'm giving up on promising to write more often.  If any of you want me to start tweeting, let me know.  I'm content with updating my news once a year, I guess.  Time really does fly.  Every day is an adventure and a gift.  There is still a lot of singing in my life, just no full length solo recitals.  What has changed for me is that I am returning to my keyboard roots, spending time every day (or almost every day, let's be honest), playing the piano and harpsichord.  The piano is a Steinway grand that my parents bought me when I was 14 and the harpsichord is one my grandfather made for me.  I'm learning new pieces and occasionally revisiting old ones.  It's fun!  Also fun is working with the voice students who study with me.  It's great to be able to practice my art and pass along my knowledge!  Anyway, thanks for reading my blog.  I'll let you know when it's time to follow me on Twitter.  

While not much happened professionally in 2011 and 2012, a lot happened personally. Last year, and the first part of this year was a rough year. First, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, but thankfully it was caught early and I am doing fine. Then, my father moved from Dallas to be near me in Hermosa Beach, in an assisted living facility 5 minutes from my home. We hoped we would have some good times together, but his life quickly consisted of only going to the doctor and hospital. He put himself under hospice care, and I spent all day, every day caring for him. It was a period of months, when the doctors had expected it to be weeks. He went to his soul's home on March 8, 2012, and is now with my mother. I am beginning to feel myself again and look forward to each day and what lies ahead. I hope that life is bringing you joy and peace.
Again--a year! Obviously, I am way too busy to be writing often. :) Or, at least, I wait until I have something to say. This time I do--lots of exciting things coming up. First, a new cd!!!!!! It will be coming out in mid-September. It's called "morning star" and it's by a new group, morning star. The members of the group are, of course, me, plus my friends Dawn Brooks and Cory Johnson. We were joined by some other musicians, notably the incredibly talented string player of all kinds of guitar instruments, Greg Leisz. It is an amazing album of early American tunes, plus a couple of new ones by Dawn and Cory. I am so proud of it! Also, I will be doing a couple of recitals this fall, on Sept. 25 (also the cd release event) at Riviera Methodist in Redondo Beach and at St. Cross Episcopal in Hermosa Beach. So, for the fall, I am staying close to home. I will be doing a little singing in Dallas, again, in the end of August. And, speaking of travel, Alan and I went to the North York Moors this year in March. We like it cold and rainy! We were in Hutton-le-Hole, a charming village in the north of England. Maybe some day I'll get pictures of that and the new recording up on this website. Come see me at one of these concerts, and buy a cd! Once it's out, it will be on cdbaby and amazon, but I'd much rather sell you one in person!
Twittering and blogging are obviously not for me--it's been a whole year and I'm just now writing again! I've done a lot of singing and playing the piano and am enjoying the pleasure of practicing just for the fun of making music. It's nice to have the time to do that. Too often in the past the heavy performance schedule made all music-making goal oriented. On the travel front, Alan and I went to the Yorkshire Dales this past March, which was wonderful! Lots of walking and exploring little villages. I'll be in Dallas in a few weeks doing a little performing there, but no other travel plans until next year. Check back for that news.
It's been way too long since I shared any news here. Life just seems to whiz by sometimes--not nearly enough savoring. The year held some wonderful and memorable musical moments--getting to perform my sacred song recital at my church, Riviera Methodist last fall was very meaningful. Playing a recital for my good friend Dan Wilson was also very special. I went to Santa Barbara in February for a mini-reprise of my Santa Barbara tour a couple of years ago. Now, it's almost summer again! But, before summer gets here, Alan and I will be taking another great vacation--this year to Austria. Maybe I'll have a Sound of Music moment on a hike in the Alps! Photos and news to come soon.
The summer, is just that, the summer. Lots of little singing engagements here and there, but nothing big enough to send up a flag. If something comes up, I'll let everybody know. Until then, it's just hangin' in Hermosa Beach.
This fall I will be performing my sacred song recital at my own church, Riviera United Methodist, in Redondo Beach. My last solo concert there was in the summer of 2000, so I am really looking forward to this concert. I will also be leading the music on a women's retreat, and a special hymn sing on December 1. The fall is always a busy, exciting time, so check back soon for other dates we can meet musically.
The recital at Grace Presbyterian in Long Beach in February was a wonderful experience with Curtis Heard at the piano! It was also really fun closing the concert with a set of gospel songs, accompanying myself on the piano. Other concerts are in the planning stages. Stay tuned--you will be the first (well, the second, after me) to know.
Next February I am looking forward to doing another sacred recital. I will be doing some of the art songs from my CD, In the Mornin,' along with some more of the more contemporary and gospel songs that I enjoy doing, accompanying myself on the piano. The date and location are listed in my calendar section.
This fall I'm staying closer to home doing shows that don't involve overnight stays. I even sang for some dear folks in Hermosa Beach, no more than five minutes from home! Unbelievable for L.A.! I'm also very excited that my CD, All the Things You Are, is going to be sold at concerts at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center. So, if you plan a visit to the Jazz Cabaret series at the George Nakano Theatre, you can pick up a copy of my CD there. One more thing, if you want to hear me play the organ (don't laugh) in an early music recital, featuring two wonderful singers, don't miss the Nov. 18th concert.
The concerts this summer in Dallas, TX and in Davis, CA went great and were so much fun! As I looked at the audience, I would sometimes see a little smile, a foot tapping, or even a tear, and that tells me that I touched some special memory. I love performing these songs for the generation who grew up with this music.
The Santa Barbara shows were a lot of fun. One lady with a walker got up and danced during my Irving Berlin set! It was really cute, and also quite touching. I'll be leaving for Dallas in July, doing a couple of concerts there while also spending time with my family. Please come by if you are in the area. In August I will be doing at least one performance in Davis, California. Check back soon for details on other shows.

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