I’m a native of the Northshore, born and raised in Slidell. I went to UNO for my BA and MM in flute performance. I thought that my career path was going to take me “all the way” to a DMA and college teaching. I started the program at USM, but realized that this was not for me. I left the program and took several months off from playing. I got a full time job in a doctor’s office, which was a familiar field to me, having worked at the school clinic during my undergrad and grad years. (In fact, I still work in medical and am pursuing a MBA in Healthcare Management at UNO.) I found myself thriving musically, free from the confines of school and syllabi and proscribed literature. Even though I was lucky at UNO that my teachers were willing to indulge my musical explorations, a certain standard was required. Now, however, I made the rules. So I pursued music that was off the beaten path. I commissioned and premiered works. I taught a lot of students, giving them the standards to learn but also letting them know that there was a lot of other stuff out there. I performed in a professional orchestra. I conducted a community orchestra. I stretched and soared. I deliberately did not study with a flute teacher. However, I worked with some brilliant pianists and musicians – Bonny Miller, Albinas Prizgintas, Amanda Wadsworth, Kristina Havard.
It’s an oft told tale that begins “and then Katrina hit”. Well, we did lose the first floor of our house. We rebuilt. My big loss was my studio space. I didn’t suffer the loss of my music or instruments or resources. But the building I rented from was damaged and I have yet to find a place since. I have continued to practice, perform and teach, but it hasn’t been the same. I only recently realized the reason it hasn’t been the same is because I have been trying to recreate that time, instead of merely building upon it and going forward. So, I have gone back to that identity I found over a decade ago and what drove it: I’m a new music advocate who likes to do things outside the box, to do the unexpected and to bend the rules. I also like to tie things together and find a “through line”. So that is where I am today: finding the weird, unusual and undiscovered/hidden gems and bringing them to new audiences.