When did you participate in MYSP and what is your favorite memory?
I was part of the Memphis Youth Symphony Program from 2005-2009 (MYO from 05-06 and MYS from 06-09). My fondest memories involve any and every first-read through of new music as an ensemble. At times beautifully messy, that collective struggle to bring a new piece of music to life for the first time was always exhilarating, awe-inspiring, and one of the purest forms of collaboration I’ve ever experienced.
How did participating in the MYSP impact you?
Participating in MYSP gave me a chance to reimagine who I was and who I could be. After making it through something like the final movement Shostakovich’s fifth symphony, you learn that you’re more than capable of accomplishing what once seemed impossible. It’s that realization in itself, that helped me uncover a sense of agency and certainty in my own potential as a musician, and now as an educator and youth practitioner.
What are you up to now? Is music still part of your life and if so, how?
Music is certainly still a significant aspect of my life! I currently work as the program manager for the Memphis Music Initiative (MMI) Works program. Much of our work involves employing creative youth with music and arts organizations across the city and supporting them from where there are to where they want to be through professional and personal development series. In addition to that, I maintain my own music studio, Lilies of the Field Music School, where we offer music lessons and master classes to children and youth throughout the city.