2003 was a “hoop jumping” year. I had this crazy notion that I was going to get a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance coming from a background in Piano Performance. So 2003 was the year in which I had to play catch up, take lots of classes and prove to the faculty and admissions people at the University of South Florida that I was worthy of being admitted to their program.
While I was jumping through those hoops, I made a good friend– Christy. We both were required to take a chorus class on Monday evenings to satisfy our degree requirements. I was just about to start my Master’s program and she was finishing hers.
Like me, Christy made the hour long commute north from Sarasota County to USF in Tampa. Off campus, we discovered that we both enjoyed tennis. Our friendship began to solidify not just through music, but also on the tennis court. Once Christy graduated, she headed north to earn her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. She specialized in Music Theory. I honestly felt that having a friend who was a music theorist was some kind of karmic payback for me. I always hated (and was bad at) music theory… and now I had this great friend and all she wanted to talk about was theory, theory, theory…..karma, I tell you! Karma!
Thirteen years later, Christy’s life is in Wisconsin and mine is here. Phone calls, Skype and Google Hangouts help us keep in touch. I see Christy about once a year when she comes to Florida on vacation. She is a successful music department chair within the University of Wisconsin system. She teaches and she also composes. This past June, she was here for a month. I got to spend much more time with her than I had in quite a while. She came with goals. Her intent was to finish a collection of 12 songs she had been working on that are meant for the college level singer. Each time we’d visit, I’d get to look at 2 or 3 pieces and give her some feedback. Her wacky sense of humor comes through in so many of the pieces….they are fun and crack me up!
Not only did I get to consult on her compositions this summer, but in late October, I will get to premiere them in recital at the University of Wisconsin- Sheboygan. I’ve never been to Wisconsin….I’m looking forward to singing these fun pieces, seeing the leaves changing on the trees this autumn and collaborate on this great project with my close friend. And maybe play some tennis. 🙂