What do you enjoy the most about doing the kind of music we are doing for this concert?
What I enjoy the most about these musical styles is that it allows me to use many of the elements of my formal training in both Classical and Contemporary musical styles.
What got you first interested in singing?
I grew up during the era of Disco & Classic R&B. I later realized that a lot of my favorite singers from this era also got their start singing Gospel music in the the church. I knew early on as a child that I wanted to sing music that touched people's souls and I think that's what naturally attracted me to these styles.
What is your most memorable stage moment?
During the mid to late 70's there was a re surged interest of the 1934 opera Porgy and Bess and in result turning the tide of opinion about the work. It was Houston Grand Opera's 1976 production, music direction by John DeMain, which for the first time had an American opera company, not a Broadway production company, performing the entire unedited opera. Because this opera is based in the Classical Style, but also has elements of Jazz, Blues, Gospel, and Rap... for almost 50 years had not been considered a legitimate Opera until the early 1980's. I had the honor of working with John DeMain in the Seattle Opera's 2011 production of Porgy & Bess... and still today, shines as one of my favorite theatrical experiences.
Is there something audiences might not know about gospel music that you think they should?
I don't think that you have to be particularly religious to appreciate this American music and its major influences on the many styles of our contemporary music.