I am honored and thrilled to announce my new role at the Cleveland Institute of Music – VP and Director, Center for Innovative Musicianship. This appointment will include redesigning and teaching existing courses and creating new opportunities for our students to augment their artistic training with business-savvy, entrepreneurial, and purpose-driven programming. Welcoming our new students today made me ponder my own path and how I got here. A short story follows….enjoy!

My own career mashup was well underway, though I didn’t know it then!, when I declared a major in music education nearly 25 years ago. Following my childhood dream to be a teacher and passionate about my performance life, I soon set my sights on teaching applied music at the collegiate level. This plan, like so many well-hatched ideas, took an unexpected turn when in 2000, I landed in a one-year admissions job. That one year, led to fifteen years at the University of Illinois, with four promotions as well as numerous performing and teaching opportunities.

Now, my work at CIM will marry my passions – teaching and supporting conservatory music students as they set out to achieve their professional goals and deepening our connection to the Cleveland Community.  In 2017, we announced the Minority Artist Fellowship program along with an increased commitment to diversity and inclusion as we seek to nurture the musical talents of African American and Latino/a students.  I am deeply honored to participate along with fellow CIM faculty and staff leaders in the inaugural program, made possible by the generous contributions of the Cleveland Foundation and the George Gund Foundation.

I’m still amazed at the rich and extraordinary opportunities my 17 years of higher education employment has provided! The connections made then and now with professional colleagues have charted a path I could have never imagined when I was 18 years old. I hope for all new students seeking a bright future, you create bold dreams, seize every opportunity, and have a great time riding the circuitous and fulfilling path that being a musician can bring!