History Made.

History has been made! Regardless of what political party you associate with or who you voted for, if you are a women I hope you see the sheer historical greatness of what happened on January 20, 2021. Kamala Harris became the 59th Vice President of the United States! Harris is the first Black person, first woman and the first person of South Asian descent elected to the vice presidency, and the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in government. As a women I am simply overjoyed! As a mother I have hope for the future. My little girl will grow up seeing a woman leading our country and will never remember a time when this wasn’t a possibility. My mini me will know she can grow up to be whatever she wants to be, even President! As Madame Vice President Harris stated in her acceptance speech, “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last. Because every little girl, watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities. And to the children of our country, regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message: dream with ambition, lead with conviction and see yourself in a way that others might not see you, because they’ve never seen it before.”

Musical History Was Made– There were many firsts on Inauguration Day and among them was a musical first that some may be unaware of. The Marine Band has played every inauguration since Thomas Jefferson and music from America’s great composers have been part of every inauguration. But on this historic inauguration, the Marine Bands conductor selected many living composers to be included in the ceremony and he selected Julie Giroux’s “Integrity Fanfare and March” to be played as Kamala Harris walked up to the podium. This makes Julie Giroux the first woman composer to have a piece played in an inauguration ceremony! A truly noteworthy achievement for this talented composer and an inspiration to women in the arts. As a musician, who plays in wind ensembles, I have performed many of Julie’s pieces and have been greatly touched by her music. In 2016 I had the privilege of performing with her when she conducted the Saint Louis Wind Symphony’s premier of a commissioned piece she wrote for our group. CLICK HERE to read about that amazing day.

My daughter and I met composer Julie Giroux after performing her Symphony NO. V in 2016.

The Future– Vice President Harris and composer Julie Giroux made history. They are change makers that lead the way for future generations of women. They are showing women and young girls all over the world that they can not only sit at the table, but women can lead the table. It’s a great day to be a woman and I’m going to continue to proudly wear my Chucks and pearls!

History in the Making…Day 75

On Saturday afternoon my family of three gathered around the TV and watched a historic event. On May 30, 2020, we witnessed the first launch of NASA astronauts on American soil since the Space Shuttle retired in 2011 and the first private company (SpaceX) to launch people into orbit. SpaceX’s Dragon Endeavour spacecraft, crewed by astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, successfully launched from a SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL, with plans to dock with the International Space Station.

The launch was a welcomed distraction during an unstable time in our country. Watching the launch took me back to my 1980’s childhood when my elementary teachers would pull out the “TV on a cart” and we would gather with other classes in the hallway to watch the Space Shuttle launches. It was always a big deal and something they didn’t want us to miss. I was in junior high in 1986 when the Challenger exploded while taking the first teacher into space. I have vivid memories of watching the tragic footage during lunch as administrators wheeled TVs into the cafeteria. I will never forget that devastating day.

From my first visit to the Kennedy Space Center at the age of six, to my years as a a young educator spending multiple summers teaching a space themed summer camp, I have always been fascinated with the space program. I hope this historic voyage ignites something positive during a time when our country is filled with anger and sadness.