Category Archives: My Story

Where It All Began

Baxter Riggs books

Back in late 1992 or early 1993, I purchased these two books, “The Rock N Roll Singer’s Survival Manual” by Mark Baxter and “Singing For The Stars” by Seth Riggs. By the time I finished reading them, I knew that I would end up teaching voice in addition to performing. Mind you, I hadn’t even started studying voice myself at that point. But I knew that part of my calling would be to train other vocalists. You could say that they changed my life. They have held up pretty well after all these years of use, I might add.

Columbia College Music

I realized just a few days ago while chatting with a fellow voice teacher friend that I began my journey of vocal training 20 years ago. I was in my first semester as a transfer student at Columbia College Chicago when I enrolled in the Technique In Singing I class with Brad Nitzchke. Then it was on to private voice with Brad as well as great voice classes with Bobbi Wilsyn and H.E. Baccus. In 2001, I began study with Randy Buescher and the whole game changed. Wow!! Where has the time gone? LOOK AT ME NOW!!!  I am so thankful that I am now sharing my passion for the voice with other singers, helping to develop other vocal coaches, and making music of my own. I’m fortunate to be doing what I love, passing on the knowledge that was poured into me. I am very blessed and humbled.

There is no way I can look back and not mention my first two college music instructors. I began piano studies with Barbara Cunningham in my second semester of my freshman year at Indiana University Northwest, not even a music major yet. The next fall, I enrolled in a Rudiments Of Music class taught by Dwight Davis. Over the next two years, these generous teachers fostered the talent that they saw, even when I still had my doubts. They both believed that I could and should pursue my passion. It was Mr. Davis, in fact, who brought Columbia College Chicago to my attention and convinced me to apply to the world famous Berklee College of Music (I got accepted!!!). He even gave me free theory and ear-training lessons for a few weeks to make sure I was ready to become a music major. I owe them so much for helping me follow the path to my life’s work. I try to pay it back everyday that I teach and make music.