Growing up, my parents were excellent role models in developing an appreciation for music in all their children. Mother played the piano, and several sisters also learned to play. At home we would sing hymns learned in the churches we attended at the time. On special occasions when close friends would visit us for a meal, we would sing together songs with beautiful melodies. Singing in this manner helped to bring us closer together as family and friends. As I grew older, this special appreciation for singing motivated me to participate in choirs at school, in the youth and adult choirs of the church, and to earn a degree in music from a university in the Los Angeles area. I am grateful for the loving examples provided by my mother and father. As excellent role models they helped to motivate me in developing my own musical talents.