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As a performer, I was continually on the lookout for music that challenged and inspired me. I found this inspiration in music of all eras and across a range of genres and languages. Some favorites include Lee Hoiby's passionate settings of Shakespeare in Sonnets and Soliloquies, Hushaby Songs by Sayaka Ishiguro, Stravinsky's rhythmically compelling Les Noces, and the Vivaldi motet In turbato mare irato. My background in theater and instrumental music served me well in mastering and presenting these wide-ranging pieces.
Other favorites of mine include the music of Broadway, American folk and bluegrass, and rock of all sorts. With hammered dulcimer and autoharp expert Lucille Reilly, I explored songs of Appalachia and related music and am enjoyed the exhilaration that comes with improvising on stage.
In 2010 I was diagnosed with a voice disorder, MTD, or muscle tension dysphonia. It took a year to chase down the cause of this muscular imbalance in my larynx, but with the help of several voice specialists I finally learned that I had sung for nearly 25 years with vocal fold scarring. After many months of intensive voice rebuilding, I finally made the difficult decision to retire from performance. At first I thought the sky was falling, but soon it became clear that a world of new opportunities was opening for me.
You can read more about my journey as an injured musician in my chapter "Rethinking Recovery" in Notes of Hope, published in 2014 by Mountain Peak Press.