Tag Archives: words of wisdom

Reframing My Goals for Musical Merit

Over the past few days my nervousness about Musical Merit has increased. I know after giving my recital that my technique will most likely stay intact, but how do I stack up against other singers? I know I’ve improved since last year, but by how much? And is it enough? What if they (the judges) don’t like me or my singing?

Dante helps me pack for my trip to San Deigo. NYC, 2014

Dante helps me pack for my trip to San Diego. NYC, 2014

These questions are common for singers to obsess over, but they’re not doing me any good. So, to combat my rising nervousness and doubt, I’ve decided to shift the focus of this trip from hoping to place in the competition to 1) singing each piece of music with conviction; and 2) treating myself to a mini-vacationContinue reading


“Dreaming, after all…”

Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.

– Gloria Steinem

the view from the aquarium


“I am not a product of my circumstances…”

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”– Stephen Covey

Inishmore. Aran Islands, 2011.

Inishmore. Aran Islands, 2011.

“You are here to enrich the world.”

You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world. – Woodrow Wilson


Convocation, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Wells Fargo Arena, 2013.

Our convocation ceremony was not just for the School of Music but included the Schools of Design, Dance, Theatre & Film, Art, and Arts, Media & Engineering. I hadn’t been too excited about going, but I’m very glad I did: the variety of majors they announced as graduates walked across the stage was surprising (Landscape Architecture? Fibers? Ceramics?), and I was reminded that singers aren’t the only ones who major in something “impractical.”

I looked around at the arena of people who had made this bold choice, and it gave me hope to see that there are so many people in this cynical world who are full of hope and passion.

Happy Earth Day

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.  Kahlil Gibran

Ireland, 2010.

Sometimes I wake up groggy on Mondays… but not today! Coincidentally, it is Earth Day. A friend shared a great article by Bill McKibben about our earth, our environment, global climate change, and what we can do, which you can read here. McKibben founded the grassroots climate campaign 350.org (350 refers to 350 parts per million, the amount of carbon dioxide that scientists say is safe for the atmosphere to hold — we are nearing 400 parts per million).

McKibben points out that the environmental concerns of the last century are different from the ones we face now. Air and water are cleaner, and more people probably recycle now (I’m certainly a product of reduce, reuse, and recycle). Unfortunately, invisible pollution has gone up, and the next challenge is how to address what is less easy to see. McKibben directs us to look inside ourselves to find the drive to make this world a place where we can continue to live and make beautiful things happen.

That’s where our passion, spirit, creativity, and love come in. We’re being forced, at high speed, to redesign our world; to imagine, and then build, a better future. It’s a test of whether humanity’s big brains were really a good adaptation. But, even more than that, it’s a test of whether we, collectively, have a big enough heart. – Bill McKibben

I’m not a scientist, but I have passion, spirit, creativity, and love. We can make a difference and be part of this epic adventure. Use whatever skills you can to reach whatever audience you can. There’s enough art song about nature to program a recital about the beauty and mystery of the world! Start with Debussy’s Green and end with Wolf’s Kennst du das Land? Just an idea.. and not a bad one!

…show the whole world that you are not afraid…

All I insist on, and nothing else, is that you should show the whole world that you are not afraid. Be silent, if you choose; but when it is necessary, speak — and speak in such a way that people will remember it. – W. A. Mozart

La Jolla, 2012.

La Jolla, 2012.

In all matters of creativity..

In all matters of creativity, rules are meant to be broken when necessary. – Haley Langford


art on campus

Play keeps us vital and alive

Play keeps us vital and alive. It gives us an enthusiasm for life that is irreplaceable. Without it, life just doesn’t taste good. – Lucia Capocchione