I thought I would write a little about me here. Birth is personal, so I thought I'd share some personal stuff here too.
My formal training and schooling was in music performance and I majored in horn (or french horn as some people say). I went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for my Bachelor's degree and continued on at Northwestern University for my Master's degree. It feels like music was always an important part of my life. I began taking piano lessons when I was four and started horn when I was ten. I loved music. Sure, as a kid I still had to be reminded to practice, but I actually did it and I always wanted to be a musician. I was the kid that listened to classical music on the radio, had tons of tapes and then CDs of classical music with a tiny bit of pop/rock/whatever is more usual music mixed in.
After finishing grad school I had a three year fellowship playing in Miami Beach, Florida in a training orchestra called the New World Symphony. It was my first paycheck as a musician. As a fellow in this training orchestra we were given studio apartments, our stipend and at least monthly coaching from some of the top musicians around the globe. Seriously, from Chicago and San Francisco to Vienna. I learned so much and made some great friends while there.
My first professional horn job was a one-year position in Norfolk, Virginia with the Virginia Symphony. I played second horn there. Most orchestras have between five and six horns. It's a very competitive profession and I feel lucky to have had so much success. After that I played for a year in the Houston Grand Opera as third horn. Then came to Albuquerque and got the job as fourth horn in the New Mexico Symphony (now reformed as the New Mexico Philharmonic).
Here in New Mexico I met my husband, Mark Hyams who plays trumpet. We got engaged after dating two months and got married a year later. Right after we got married..like the day after!...we both had a three month trial period with the Malaysian Philharmonic. It was an amazing experience culturally and a good orchestra too. It also allowed us to take a crazy cool honeymoon on this remote island. ...but we wanted to come back to the U.S. We came back to New Mexico and then I got a one-year position as fourth horn/utility (meaning I would move around a little in the section) with the Saint Louis Symphony. The job in St. Louis was incredible and the one-year actually turned into five years. While there we went to Carnegie hall every year and took a European tour too. We also did a recording project and I (and Mark too!)got to perform on a Grammy Award winning CD. This was definitely a high point while there!
During my fifth year in Saint Louis though I had a lot of sadness. I had three miscarriages within nine months. My first dog as an adult died of cancer. A week after my dog died, my Mom who was my best friend died. Torture. I was fairly certain I was the harbinger of death at that low point in my life. I even considered taking my life. It was so bleak and dark. A few months after all those losses the tenure audition for the job I was playing in Saint Louis happened. I gave it my all, but I didn't get the position. Looking back, I am unsure how I was anything but a puddle of mush.
When I didn't get the tenure position in St. Louis we moved back to Albuquerque because my husband still had his position in the New Mexico Phil. I was not super excited about moving back to New Mexico. Not for any good reason besides just continuing to feel sad. I started going to talk therapy and that helped (and still helps) a bunch. I slowly came out of my depression and fog. I started hiking again and made a few local friends.
I started subbing locally and then started to get calls to travel and perform. Getting those calls was a great reassurance that I hadn't fallen off the map. I was still a musician! I was invited to Honolulu, Kansas City, back to Saint Louis, and Los Angeles.
Then, I got pregnant! WOW! I was a mixture of excited, freaked out, happy, terrified, confident and worried.
****speaking of baby, she's up from a rare nap....to be continued!****