No time like the present. This is an exciting year. Winter/Spring 2013, I focused intently on my senior recital performances. The Dalai Lama spoke to 20,000 at University of Maryland, and because I worked one of his events I got to meet him and have a photo taken with him. I graduated from the UMD School of Music, earning my BMusic degree in violin performance, with a minor in Philosophy.

Now summer, I am attending Aspen Music Festival and School. This is my first time in the Rockies. Aspen, Colorado, is perhaps the most beautiful place on earth! Coming this fall, I will begin a Masters program in violin performance, at Royal Academy of Music. I look forward to London city life.

The past is prologue

I grew up in a household where music constantly played (practicing strings or playing the radio/stereo) and songs were sung. I began singing in church choir at age 3, alongside my older brother, Robert. I started playing violin around age 6. I learned to read music the same time as reading English. I was an advanced singer before I was halfway decent on the fiddle. I pursued parallel tracks in studying both singing and violin through high school. On the one hand I sang baritone in a 100+ member chorale that performed classic Master Choral Works. At the same time I was in wonderful extracurricular orchestras, continuing from lower school on. (Shout out to Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra, Peabody Sinfonietta, and the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras.) I credit the Peabody Preparatory Institute with giving me the skills by which I could make my daring decision to choose a career in violin over academics or singing.

Robert played violin, then viola. He was a singer too. No secret, he was quite charismatic on stage and in person. In short, he was a tough act to follow. Robert, who was only 17 months and one grade older, died as a result of a tragic college sports incident halfway across the country - on the last day of Spring exams in my freshman year of college. We dreamt of sharing our musical life together, teaching our kids, etc. I carry on, with him always in my heart.

I believe I'm not alone when I say, the Soul of Music is a balm that helps you weather the hard times or relish in beauty. Music is my challenge, joy, and life.