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“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

I’ve been called a lot of things: midwestern, middle-class, an A student, a Jill of music trades, a wanderer. I’ve roamed the hallowed halls of academia as a student and a teacher. I’ve stumbled around onstage and off and read music like it was the morning news. I’ve written hundreds of notes and papers in exchange for three (the burden of the latter feels infinitely heavier). For too long, I ignored the quiet call of songwriting for semi-lofty resume titles and beefy bios. I used my baton more than I did my journal and turned my back on my inner monsters and classical ghosts. What could I have to say about the world?

Still she plays, still she sounds, still she sings.

The piano is my constant, my blessing and curse; it’s where my story started and where I’ve returned. Too many times, I’ve left my instrument to gather dust. The upright beauty where I learned how to love sound still sits in a basement; I came back to her after fifteen years to remember why I make music: to weave together my classical training with stories of the underdog. I play for anyone who has had to push down their demons. I sing for the cobweb clearers, for the gardeners who replant their roots in a creative graveyard, for those who hold themselves to impossible expectations to go forth and simply create.