I am standing on the shoulders of many…
I recently enjoyed playing a concert in my hometown of Huntington, West Virginia. The title of the concert was "From Huntington to Abbey Road." It was the story of how I grew up in the beautiful town of Huntington, West Virginia, and made my way as a pianist and through the music industry to record my latest solo piano CD at Abbey Road Studios in London. The same Abbey Road Studios where The Beatles and many greats have recorded their hits.
It was great to revisit the town I grew up in and see many friends I have known since childhood. However, there was one particular person that meant the world to me.
As I mentioned in my presentation, there were many factors that led to me having an amazing career in the music industry. First, it was the love and drive of my parents to provide me with 11 years of piano lessons, no matter if I was going kicking and screaming the whole way.
I still have a theory I wasn't designed to be a pianist. It was my mother's brilliant idea to drop me off for a 30-minute piano lesson, along with my sister, so she would get one hour of free time without kids.
Getting back to my standing on shoulders, there were my music teachers, including my first piano teacher, Genevieve Darden. There was my junior high school music teacher, Mrs. Irvine Parson. There was my high school music teacher, Janice Chandler.
And there, sitting quietly in the audience of my hometown concert, was my long-time piano teacher. Mrs. Harriet Tucker. I was so surprised and honored to see Mrs. Tucker there. Her modesty won't admit to anything, but she put in the bulk of the effort to make me the pianist I am today. I was young and not very motivated to practice 30 minutes daily. No matter how much I was kicking and screaming, Mrs. Tucker was always there, calm and steady, with a guiding hand.
Fast forward to today. I have been a professional pianist - playing around the world. I also was a highly accomplished concert agent working with my musical heroes. And I'm now back at the piano - my life has come full circle. And if it weren't for the key people I just mentioned, I would never have been able to do this. And especially Mrs. Tucker, who achieves sainthood in my book.
I am truly standing on the shoulders of many people to have an amazing career in music. And just for that very special day, I connected with one of them!