This is the interesting bits about me. Or at least I think so. If you want to read the standard stuff, go to the Official biography link. I have various persona in my universe, which is centered in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. Since you're presumably here for the music connection, I'll start with that. My primary job, other than keeping food in the house and the cats combed, is as Artistic Director of The Pittsburgh Camerata, aka "The city's premier chamber choir." This is a very glamorous job. I choose the programs, get together the music, much of which I edit or arrange, run rehearsals, conduct the concerts, and clean the bathrooms. (Actually, The Pittsburgh Camerata fortunately doesn't have a bathroom, or that would be my job.) My arrangements, or at least some of them, are available for purchase, if you want to check them out. There are sample pages for each one, and hopefully soon I will get around to publishing sound clips. The Pittsburgh Camerata has its own Facebook page, thanks to one of the group members, and you too can become a fan if you are on Facebook. If not, or if being a fan of a group that you've never heard of before doesn't really appeal to you, check out our official website at www.pittsburghcamerata.org
I am also an organist. Actually, that's how I began life. Well, I should specify how I began my adulthood. But life has some funny twists and turns, and between one thing and another I gave up playing the organ for a number of years after we moved to Pittsburgh in 1995. Then Duquesne University, where I am an adjunct faculty member, gave me an office which also happened to be an organ studio, so I thought "what the heck" and started practicing. I'm keen enough that we've added an addition onto our house with an organ room. (Not that it was too hard to convince my husband, as he is also an organist without a regular church job, and therefore is always looking for someplace to practice.) I give recitals from time to time, mostly in places other than Pittsburgh. My most recent performances were in France and at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, NY. I have also recently resurrected the violin, and just finished a week of playing bluegrass, jazz improvisations (some of which weren't completely embarrassing,) and so on.
As previously mentioned, I teach at Duquesne University, (hence the studio,) which is a lot of fun, keeps me in touch with young people, and fills any idle mental hours that I might otherwise have with speculations about Baroque music and why electric guitarists sign up for my Baroque Performance Practice class. I give private harpsichord lessons as well. Unfortunately, because of the current economic realities, my course has been canceled, and I am therefore transferring my musings into book form.
After a mis-spent lifetime ignoring sports in general and football in particular, I have become a passionate Steelers fan, and write about the Steelers on Behind the Steel Curtain. (The site can be found here. ) This August the Maple Street Press Steelers Annual contains two articles under my byline - an article about Hines Ward's star turn on Dancing with the Stars, and a recap of the 2010 season co-written with Behind the Steel Curtain founder Michael Bean. Here's a link, in case you want to buy a copy for your coffee table or bathroom reading pile.
As of early August 2011 I am also an author on Bleacher Report - I was, randomly enough, recruited, and I'm giving it a go. Their suggested word limit for articles is about the length of one of my usual preambles, but what the heck. You're never too old to learn to be more succinct, right? Here's a link to an over-length article (It's close to being short enough) that I like.
In my extra-musical and literary life I'm the wife of an Englishman and material scientist, Anthony Rollett. I'm told that in the material science world he's "huge." (Not by him, I hasten to add - remember I said that he is English.) We produced four children in the usual way - Adrian, Cecily, Sarah, and Edmund.
Adrian majored in voice at Carnegie Mellon University, and got a job in - er - computing right out of school. He worked for a time as a carpenter in the rural midwest, and built our addition. He is now back into computing, at the University of North Texas at Denton, and got married in October 2008 to Kelly Gibson. (That's Adrian in the picture, presumably trying to talk me into something...) Cecily majored in oboe at Carnegie Mellon University. She has also taken up the bagpipes, piano tuning, and nannying at various times, and is married to her childhood non-sweetheart - according to her, she liked him since she was 10, and you can tell that because she used to beat him up on a regular basis. Her husband James just finished his stint in the Navy and joined the St. Louis County Police, so don't speed in his bailiwick. Sarah decided to take a year off after she graduated from high school and be an au pair in Wales. The au pair thing didn't work out too well, but the guy she met at church, David, did, and they are married and live in Wales. She is also a diamond merchant on Ebay. Edmund was a horn major at Northwestern University, and I naturally assumed that after graduating he would take a job as a wine-maker or divot salesman or some such. But in fact he ended up in the Orquesta Filarmonica de la Cuidad de Mexico. It is one (supposedly the best) of about five orchestras in Mexico City. However, he is about to leave Mexico and study for a year with the principal horn player in the Pittsburgh Symphony, which suits me just fine.
My husband and I are also grandparents - the girls didn't waste any time, and have presented us with four adorable boys and 2 girls, who are even more adorable. Adrian and his wife finally have a son. Unlike the girls, he wasted a lot of time.
My husband joins me as the unpaid staff of two Birman cats, Lexi and Cato. Lexi is the proud, aloof cat, and Cato covers the opposite end of the spectrum, being more like a rather mellow dog than a cat. They both like to sleep on their back. Cato likes music, even playing the harp on random occasions with his teeth. (This is true. If I ever catch him at it in time, we'll have a killer Youtube video.) Lexi hates music. I wonder what that says?
So what else do I fill my time with, now that the nest is empty? Primarily daytime television and Doritos. Actually, that is what I aspire to. Here are some of the things I actually do: I love to garden. I have a rather nice English style garden. At least I think so. I have a love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with grass, and grass comprises a smaller portion of my front garden every season. I really like to do home renovations. At least I really like it until I get into that middle part where everything is a mess and there is no end in sight. But I like the end result. I like tiling, painting (especially faux paint effects) and cutting stuff up on the table saw. I hate sanding, wallpapering, and anything that smacks of maintenance.
I bake my own bread from time to time, and like to cook. The internet is awesome - you can find a recipe for anything you can possibly imagine! Ethic foods of various kinds are a favorite, although we just go out for sushi. I have discovered, after many years of eschewing the art form, that I really like certain contemporary bands, and I even go to the occasional concert, armed, of course, with ear plugs... The week before my New York recital I went to the Music Builds tour to see Switchfoot, Jars of Clay, and Robert Randolph and the Family Band. That was one fine concert! You're never too old to appreciate something new. At least I hope not.
Finally, I'm on the worship team at my church, Calvary Chapel of Pittsburgh. My best friend Krista is the worship leader, and she and her husband Kevin write some pretty awesome songs. I play keyboard and sing into a microphone, and it's a lot of fun.
I hope that satisfied your morbid curiosity. If not, feel free to send me a message and ask as many questions as you like. I will answer them as I have time and see fit, and really good questions may get added to the page permanently.