Music is what I’m made of. If I were a lamp, music would be my electrical wiring. My mother is a successful choral director from whence began my lifelong training. My father is an African American singer/songwriter from whom stems my soul. We all sing. We all play. Performing in choirs, in bands, as a soloist; it’s all I’ve ever known.
I teach music. Any first year teacher will say it’s intense. I studied, got the glowing degree, but there is simply no way to fully prepare. My creativity, energy, and compassion were all tried to their limit at various points along the road. Gradually it began to work. Then it began to thrive. My young musicians and I learned together – what I already knew in my bones – that music hardly begins and ends with college degrees or private lessons, trendy genres or what gets played on the radio.
Slowly I began to do what I always knew I should – to wield this art. To shape it from the endless melodies humming, playing, pouring out of me. It’s taken a long time to be brave. To speak. To be who I was made to be regardless of the many eyes surrounding me. For the sake of healing. For the sake of remembering. For the sake of expression and connection. I compose.
I live in the space between genres. Through it I am strengthened. Through it I am freed.