She never meant to be a professional musician. She thought she might be a veterinarian. But time had its way, and the draw of music was too strong. Yale School of Music and Stonybrook prepared her, and she became professor and prototype to hundreds of other performers and music educators.
There was always another draw, however. Calls came regularly to play the organ for church or to play the oboe or English horn for special services. She always said “yes” if it was at all possible. That is what you do when you are from a small town in Missouri where everyone is needed and when you are needed you respond. She learned this from her father, the doctor, who was always on call and always the person who understood what was needed and when.
Her intelligence and capabilities took her to faraway places to perform and explore professional pursuits. International travel. Esoteric music literature. Yet she always knew how to make the music available to any audience. She was a great teacher who employed good reason and practicality.
When the music department needed a steady hand and wise head, she was the person to whom they turned. She never aspired to department administration. Her commitments lay in teaching, performing, and building young musicians. But when truth and wisdom were scarce her colleagues knew where to turn. They found her and she responded.
Retirement means more opportunity to return to spend time with a father in his 90’s who needs his daughter. That is what you do when you are the daughter of a beloved doctor in the small town where you grew up. You go back. And when you are back home and your church needs an oboe for Christmas (or any other Sunday) you say, “Yes, of course, I’ll play.” When your sister cannot play in the bell choir because of back surgery, you take her place. While there you can drive your dad to his morning coffee group. When the community orchestra is giving a concert, you say “yes” to helping them in the wind section. If you can do something that is needed, you say “yes.”
When your good friend wants to play a concert, you offer to play with her. When you see an opportunity to help grow CMI, even without being asked, you give. That is what you do when your values were formed in a small town in Missouri and where the faith of the people in your small congregation nurtured your own. Thanks be to God.