Remembering, researching and creating these videos has been and continues to be a joy for me but it would not have happened without the aid and support of many people throughout my career. Rather than naming them all, I would like to center the list around my violin studies, which were started in 1958 by Robert Holmes in Nashville, Tennessee. Robert Holmes, a black educator, came into my 4th grade classroom and asked who would like to play the violin and I accepted just to get out of the classroom! This was continued by Patricia Draebeck, my first private teacher.
In 1967 at the Sewanee Music Center, I was approached by the conductor Dr. Thor Johnson who asked me where I was studying and with whom. He suggested that I return to Nashville to go to Peabody College and study with Stephen Clapp, which I did. Stephen was more than a teacher to me as he and Linda opened their home and lives to me and in so doing offered me a glimpse into a world that I was unfamiliar with, having grown up in a segregated south. Through his teaching and understanding, I was able to push my playing level to the point of being admitted to the Aspen Music Festival. It was here that I met Dorothy Delay, my next and last teacher.
I studied with Ms. Delay at the Aspen Festival for two years and then for six years at the Juilliard School. During this time, she challenged and provided me with the tools, both physically and mentally, to become the violinist that I dreamed to be. At the same time, I studied chamber music with Robert Mann, founder and first violinist of the Juilliard Quartet, who pushed me to look beyond superficiality and seek truth.
It is with the deepest appreciation and admiration that I dedicate these videos to them.