I began my college career in the School of Music at DePaul University. For two years I studied music history and theory. I excelled at ear training and sight singing. I studied flute with Victoria Graef-Grenier (now Victoria Jinca). Masterclasses were coached by Donald Peck, then principal flutist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
During freshman year I performed with the DePaul Symphony Orchestra, with a focus on piccolo. Sophomore year I concentrated on small ensembles, primarily flute quartets.
McHenry County College Fall 1981 - Spring 1982
Since my time at DePaul was in the school of music, I had very few general education credits. I decided to fill that gap at my local community college. The computer industry was rapidly expanding so I took my first computer science course. I continued my musical training by participating in the MCC Chorus.
University of Wisconsin - Madison Fall 1982 - Spring 1984
At Madison I majored in computer science, which has translated to my teaching career through my use of Finale, Smartmusic, iMovie and my iPad. I successfully auditioned for the UW Symphony Orchestra, playing flute and piccolo and working as orchestra librarian my final year. My desire to direct led me to study choral conducting. I showed sufficient proficiency in music theory to take this class, and was the only non-music major enrolled. During my final semester I met a pharmacy major in ballroom dance class. John Schwartz and I have been married for 26 years.