Music Is My Livelihood

Daniel Martinez in concert

Photo by Stephen McAlister

Daniel’s Story

Music has been an important part of my family’s life since I was a child. For my 14th birthday, my mother gave me an old guitar and I started playing. When I was singing, it felt like I was following someone else’s rules. But when I played the guitar, I made my own rules. Continue Reading…

Performing Is My Livelihood

Camille’s story

The stories often told to me as I was growing up always had to do with my insistence to sing…without knowing a song.  Perhaps it was from my musical mother who always hummed or sang songs as she did her household duties and certainly not from my tone-deaf father but singing was in my soul.  Since I knew no songs I would make up songs.  These were pathetic songs about sofas and bookshelves or anything else in my line of vision at the time.  However, no one discouraged me and in fact I was encouraged to keep singing my songs. Continue Reading…

Creativity Is My Livelihood

2012 New Music, Omaha Symphony

Adam’s Story

I grew up in the sandhills of Nebraska, surrounded by dairy cows, prairie grass, cowboy bars and fuzzy antenna television.  Imagination and creativity were my playthings by necessity and were encouraged by parents who taught me to be expressive and bold. Continue Reading…

Torch Singing Is My Livelihood

torch singer 1

Torch Singing 101, Zen’s Lounge, Lincoln, NE

About 15 years ago while living in Chicago I came across an online article about fantasy occupations. In the men’s category on the top of the list were Airline Pilot and Professional Baseball Player. On the women’s list, the top fantasy occupation was Lounge Singer. I thought to myself, that’s what I do! There is a need here I could fulfill as I was already teaching jazz voice at the college level. I needed to design a simplified course to help adults (including men) fulfill their lounge singer/jazz singer fantasies with a top level band in hip music room (about that time, “The Fabulous Baker Boys” movie was out and I recall Michelle Pfeiffer’s character in a red sequin dress, stretched across a grand piano singing a torch song which may have inspired this too).

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The Symphony Is My Livelihood

Thomas Conducting

Thomas’s Story
My “aha moment” came very early. I was eight years old and went to an orchestra concert with my third grade class. I had never heard an orchestra before, and was fascinated by the sound and the person in front, who seemed to be shaping the sound from the middle of it all. And I thought in that moment that that’s what I wanted to do with my life. It’s remarkable to know that from such a young age, and it really speaks to the power of music.

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