Pianos & More....
Pictures & instruments,
Recitals & memories
 
   My first "real" recital, and the program. Too bad I don't have pics from the reception after!
My teachers - Carolyn Hickson, 1978-1981 and still mentoring me, and Kerry Grippe, 1981-1983. They gave more than I could ever return, for which I'm ever grateful.
Carolyn, 1979 - outside the U of A music building
Kerry, at my U of I Master's program, 1983
From 1980, my Junior program; 
excerpt from Benjamin Lees,
Fantasia 
(download will take a while - 3.2Mb)
From 1983, my master's program; 
J. S. Bach, English Suite in a minor,       Prelude 
(download will take a while - 4.8Mb)

There is always a progression which makes this music of mine such a treasure of mystery and  delight, and the same holds true in the learning 
of it. The middle of the progression is seen above, 
in the college years. So, here, a picture of me 
taken in my earlier  years, taken by the local newspaper covering the auditions being held at 
the college (Cardinal Stritch College, in Milwaukee). This is true vogueing at it's best: 
the photographer had to tell me what to do here, 
as I wasn't in the habit of playing "air piano" 
in this fashion -- rather, 
I would play out the different parts on my thighs while riding in the car, turning them upside down and inside out, playing right hand parts with the 
left hand and vice versa -- whatever I could 
to keep them interesting!
After getting my master's I purchased my first piano. I can't even tell you the brand -- but, it was mine, and was bought "on a song." I was working as a legal secretary, barely making ends meet, when I read an ad in the paper - "baby grand for sale, remodelling, must sell," and immediately ran to the phone to get the particulars. Seems this lady never played, kept the piano as a piece of furniture, and had to lose it due to a new livingroom scheme. She wasn't keen on the idea of taking payments over time, but I asked to see it anyway. Well, I have no shame: when I went to try the piano, I played my best, a great romantic, expressive tune, lamenting my lack of a fine keyboard and my need of one to continue to develop, hoping she might reconsider her position on the payments. It was all a wash that afternoon; but two days later, got the call --- she said she couldn't stop thinking about me, really wanted the piano with someone who'd really use it and appreciate it --- and thus the payments began!!! She was never disappointed with a late one. Here is the treasure that I acquired.
And finally, today, (sort of...) and note:  the stacks of music have grown, just like the pianist!!!! As has the knowledge, however, AND --- the size of the piano!!! This is my Kawai GS-70, a 7'5" piece of wonder that brings me so much pleasure, and is such a treat to teach on. I never had such a grand instrument to take lessons on, and I know my students appreciate the chance to come here and play on such a fine piece of wizardry. And I appreciate what it does for the development of their ears in discriminating types of sounds produced at the piano -- the beauty of the accoustic instrument!