My fascination with the piano began around the age of six while sitting alongside my mother,
as I attentively observed and listened to her play hymns by ear. It somehow all made sense to me as I picked up the skill with a bit of time and effort. I enjoyed watching her hands glide across the keys and eventually I learned to create my own melodies as a self-taught pianist. Having been raised on a western Wisconsin dairy farm, another fond childhood memory of mine was playing and singing along with my father after chores were done. My old upright piano with a few broken keys was placed between the barn and milk house. My father used to say that music helped to increase the milk's butterfat content of our contented Guernsey cows.
I remember the cows strolling by and looking through the window before heading out to graze in the pasture. Meanwhile, "Fargo" my ever loyal coonhound was my first avid audience that listened while resting under the piano bench.
Formal training occurred eventually, however my true passion has always been improvisation
by ear. My upbringing was primarily in church music that later on developed into a variety of styles and genres. By far, the music that most deeply resonates within me includes all of the timeless compositions from the Great American Songbook. I especially love to interpret pieces by George Gershwin, Rogers & Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Stephen Sondheim, Michel Legrand, Julie Styne and others. Emotions that I am unable to express with ease verbally, my fingers communicate more freely. Music has been my constant, close companion throughout life allowing me a means of soul expression. French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement, Victor Hugo, articulated it best with this quote:
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."
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