What do you do at Walker West?
I am a vocal music teacher.
What style(s) of music do you teach/play?
I teach different styles of music such as jazz, gospel, pop, R&B, classical, and different forms of contemporary music.
I was born and raised in Chicago, IL
What are some performance/professional highlights?
Traveling to South Korea and West Africa with the Concordia Christus Choir and performing musically there were two career highlights.
What was your first gig?
My first gig was performing at a wedding in 2009.
Favorite Walker West memory/experience?
I have not been with Walker|West very long, but all of the experiences in teaching each student have been monumental, and such a privilege.
Some of my influences come from childhood teachers.
Mrs. Ernestine-Fleming, who was my choir director from church. She is so knowledgeable, versatile, and can play an array of instruments.
Mrs. Hill, who was my elementary school choir director. Her stylistic, vibrant, and tactful approach to gospel music has created the foundation of what I know today.
Dr. David Mennicke, who was my college music professor. He challenged me in many ways I didn’t even think were possible. I gained precision, dedication, consistency, accuracy, and detail from observing and listening attentively to his teachings.
Rev. Carl Walker, who is a major influence in my life musically. He has an abundance of knowledge. The limited amount of playing I have accrued, I learned from him. He is a beacon of knowledge, musical ability ranging from classical, jazz, gospel, and much more.
It has been a joy gaining knowledge from these individuals.
Some albums I grew up on are Kirk Franklin and the Family, Donald Lawrence Finale Act 1&2, and Daryl Coley’s – The Collection.
Why is music education so important?
I feel music education is important because it allows individuals to be expressive and creative. Music has the ability to bring people together no matter what background they have come from. If we are able to educate people in music, there will be more of an appreciation for it.
Advice to young musicians?
The sky really is the limit, so don’t let anyone discourage you from your dreams or passions. It will be rocky and rouch at first, but keep going!