How do you feel that music has helped you to heal or progress through challenging times?

This is such an important question. As have most of us, I have encountered some big obstacles in life, some easier than others, some more life changing, but ultimately through which music has been always a central part of my life and work. I believe that this engagement has been a tremendously healing influence. For me, music requires an emotional connection that is difficult and scary to face during hard times when it can seem easier to hide those feelings from myself and the world. However, as a singer, rather than hiding, the work requires instead that you dig deep, find the courage, and head out onto the stage knowing that your vulnerability is going out there with you! It has taught me that there is strength in being vulnerable. The shared experience with a live audience, and the preceding rehearsals both privately and with cast and crew, can be cathartic and very healing. There you are, hard times and all, in front of thousands - and you survive! In fact, for a few hours you forget your troubles, and just communicate purely in the moment, leaning into the collaboration of great colleagues, and the wonderful feeling of communication with the audience. Live performance evokes a generosity of spirit that is hard to describe, and to me at least, sometimes seems to have a nearly mystical power to heal, and to teach. Scientists, however, would probably disagree with my use of the word “mystical,” :’) and there are ongoing studies in this area in fields such as music therapy. I am happy for the scientific research, but as for myself, I like the magic too; because it truly sometimes feels that way, and can bring so much depth, healing power, and joy to life!

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