Most of my twenties and the first bit of my thirties were spent exploring music, language, history, and culture. During my college years (University of Puget Sound), I was very heavily focused on music education and music history, though I wasn’t convinced that teaching in public schools would be my long-term career path. I spent 18 months in Chile during my early twenties on a mission for my church and when I returned, I decided to research further the composers of Latin America and more specifically, the genre of song.
This academic pursuit led me to Argentina for a year-long Fulbright and then through two masters degrees in Music (University of Portland, University of Chicago), both interdisciplinary in nature. By the time I finished my second degree, I had spent a total of eight years cataloging and analyzing the output of multiple Argentine composers, including
I also contributed to the first-known catalog of Latin American Art Song with Maya Hoover, Patricia Caicedo, and Stela Brandao.
In my several trips to the southern cone, I met beautiful people and experienced a different way of living that placed more emphasis on relationships, celebration, food, and family than I had experienced in the United States. In spite of some of the logistical challenges of living abroad (transportation, housing, etc.), I thrived. My language skills improved to near fluency and a high level of cultural adaptation. This was both awesome and weird because when I returned to the United States, I realized there was a part of my identity (culturally bound to Argentina) that I could not fully express in the U.S. Also, it took me a while to learn how to English again.
While in Argentina, I produced a small volume of art song with pianist Silas Bassa.
After returning to the United States, I continued my work to promote Latin American Art Song by founding the Latin American Art Song Alliance (laasa.org). Currently this project is on the back burner, but I still have a deep love for the people and musical riches of Latin America.