Does musical passion develop through nature? Or nurture?
Music has always run in my veins, but to be honest, it’s entirely plausible that I may have had a blood transfusion at a very young age. As a performer, I am often asked the question “Do you come from a musical family?” It’s a logical query, noting my affinity for singing, the piano, and all things musical theatre. Music is such a predominant part of my life that it only makes sense to assume I was raised around other musicians. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Today, I’m thrilled to contribute to the Erie Philharmonic’s blog with my article “Music In My Blood.” On Saturday, May 21st, I will be appearing with many friends from the Erie Playhouse in My Fair Lady: In Concert. This concert is presented in collaboration with the Erie Philharmonic at the Warner Theatre.
To cultivate interest in the event, several cast members were asked to contribute a small article on their background in music. My musical history is surprising – I grew up with two parents who, although they loved music, had fostered no extracurricular interest in it past their high school graduation. They provided me with so much (including fashion advice at the age of 3), but my music abilities did not start from their own passions. I didn’t grow up around singers, piano players, or even actors…so where did my love of all three come from?
I’ve often wondered what it would have been like to grow up in a musical family. There were times that it was hard for me to explain my love of scales, theory, and the circle of fifths to my parents, but they were unfailingly supportive, nonetheless. As I learned more and more about music, their interest in it grew as well, even though my mom was fully aware of her inability to sing church harmonies on Sunday mornings. As she tells it, I had a consistent reaction to her attempts at harmonization. Apparently, I would calmly place my hand on her hymnal, turn my head, and whisper a gentle but insistent “NO” into her ear.
To read more about my non-musical upbringing, trying to harmonize with my mother, and why I owe everything to my parents, please visit the Erie Philharmonic’s blog. You can also read several other stories from my fellow cast members.