Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra Principal Clarinet Chair

Category: My Story

Chapter 1: Eugene, Oregon

Chapter 1: Eugene, Oregon

My parents made my two older sisters and me take piano lessons from the time we were six years old. Of course we complained bitterly. My dad used to say “You’ll thank me some day, honey,” and I am pleased to say that several decades […]

Chapter 2: Seattle, WA

Chapter 2: Seattle, WA

Having been born and raised in Eugene, I certainly didn’t want to stay there for college. My senior-year orchestra conductor, Mr. Cole, said he thought I’d be accepted anywhere, but I had never been east of Moscow, Idaho, or south of San Francisco, so a […]

Chapter 3: The Music Academy of the West

Chapter 3: The Music Academy of the West

I was so excited!! I had been accepted by the famous Mitchell Lurie for summer music camp! I had never been so far from home, but away I went, that summer of 1972, down to Santa Barbara. The Music Academy of the West, located on […]

Chapter 4: Junior Year– North and South

Chapter 4: Junior Year– North and South

My mother had just moved from Eugene to Ellensburg, Washington, to accept the position of Professor of Elementary Music Education at Central Washington University. My dad was Professor of Cello at the University of Idaho, in Moscow. My next older sister, Evie, had just moved […]

Chapter 5: Los Angeles to New York

Chapter 5: Los Angeles to New York

I returned to the Music Academy of the West that summer. In 1972 Dave Peck (now principal in Houston,) had been my inspirational student clarinetist; in ’73 Bill Rappaport (now second clarinetist in Atlanta) was wailing with his Dixieland! I shared a rented house with […]

Chapter 6: New York, NY 1974-75

Chapter 6: New York, NY 1974-75

Okay, here I was in New York City, doing the starving artist routine. I was scared. Fred, my high school friend—actually, the guy I had constantly argued with when we worked together on the school paper, The Axe—took me to Columbia University and introduced me […]

Chapter 7: My One-Year Job Offer

Chapter 7: My One-Year Job Offer

I finished work on July 31st, and was on a plane to Seattle on August 1st. My recitals were scheduled for August 10th in Seattle, the 12th in Ellensburg, and the 17th in Eugene, Oregon. I was staying at my mom’s house in Ellensburg while […]

Chapter 8: Puerto Rico, 1975-76

Chapter 8: Puerto Rico, 1975-76

So, here I was, living in San Juan near the Conservatory, renting a little house that was not plumbed for hot water. My life was packed with new experiences: learning Spanish, beginning to assimilate a new culture, growing into a principal chair woodwind in a […]

Chapter 9: Puerto Rico to Carnegie Recital Hall: 1976-77

Chapter 9: Puerto Rico to Carnegie Recital Hall: 1976-77

The summer of 1976 was a welcome break from that busy first year on the job. I visited my family out in the Northwest, took a road trip through the Canadian Rockies with my dad, stopped by Denver in August for the “Clarinet Clinic” (forerunner […]

Chapter 10: Puerto Rico: Year three: 1977-78

Chapter 10: Puerto Rico: Year three: 1977-78

The summer of 1977 included backpacking into lakes over 5,000 feet in elevation, a trip to see my Great Aunt and Uncle (violinist David Abel’s parents) in Sebastopol, CA, with a trip to the Napa Valley wineries, and, back in Puerto Rico, a visit to […]

Chapter 11: Puerto Rico: Year Four: 1978-79

Chapter 11: Puerto Rico: Year Four: 1978-79

Going back to work in Puerto Rico in August was starting to feel like the normal thing to do. As classes resumed at the Conservatory on the 14th I was preparing to leave my little house two blocks away and move to an apartment over […]

Chapter 12: Puerto Rico: Year Five: 1979-80

Chapter 12: Puerto Rico: Year Five: 1979-80

I returned from a great summer, which included successful performances, in Evanston, as well as Seattle. The Puerto Rico Symphony’s master agreement was ratified on September 10th (1979,) and we began rehearsing the following night under our new music director, John Barnett. On September 25th […]