Why and when did you start playing music?
My music journey began as a beginning band student in the fifth grade. I had always participated in church choir, but really wanted to be part of a group of musicians. My first band director, Mr. Charles Bragg inspired me to keep working and practicing. Unlike a lot of students today, he was my band director through elementary school and high school. I also owe my love of clarinet to my late clarinet teacher, Mr. Douglas Smith. He really had to work to bring out my best!
I also must mention my playing partner, Ottello Mueci, who I sat beside for many of my years with the symphony and the Salisbury Community Band. He demonstrated so many different styles of music as he played both orchestral music, band music, Broadway show music and jazz.
What are some struggles or challenges, if any, you have overcome in your musical career?
I have found that I am not a natural player and really have to practice a lot! After taking some time off for parenting, it took several years to get back in the swing of playing. I still struggle to find time to practice!
When did you join the SSO as a community member?
My first experience was playing third clarinet and Eb Clarinet in the Carmina Burana orchestra, probably in 1988. My first true symphony concert was the Spring of 1989. I have been the principal clarinet since the December Christmas concert of 2009.
When you are not performing with the SSO, what do you do?
I love going to the beach! My husband and I are both retired, so we like to go on cruises. We are also very involved in the music ministry at our church. I am still helping with the band program at Salisbury Christian School, where I taught for 20 years.
Tell us something that we would be surprised to know about you.
I have 5 cats!
Who or what inspired you that was not music-related?
My late Pastor, Rev. Tom Wall and the Bible verses about using your talents.
Favorite SSO piece of music to play and/or to hear?
Many years ago we played the New World Symphony. John O’Meara playing the English horn and Julie Barton on Oboe. A beautiful piece of music! Also, any Beethoven Symphony. And right now … Peter and the Wolf! I am also looking forward to playing the Rossini in the spring.
Favorite Jeff Schoyen conductor story?
The first time we had the actors in for the children’s concert. Jeff looked so uncomfortable……..comedy was definitely not his thing!