Dee Dee's Story
Here's a brief "autobiography" in Dee Dee's own words:
I was born sixth of seven in a very musical family. My father was a band director and my mother was a stay-at-home piano teacher.. first to her children (we started piano at 3, and another instrument at 4). By 8 years of age, I had had 5 years of piano and glockenspiel, and had started soprano saxophone. I could never understand until I was much older why there was always a large audience in the solo and ensemble rooms when I competed at the Junior High Level as a third grader with my little saxophone!!
At the same time, our family traveled as a family band on weekends, performing at churches, civic clubs, and mother/daughter banquits. I have an article from the Bay City Times from the late 50's with pictures, citing how unusual our family was, and comparing us to the VonTrapp family. To me, it was just another part of our interesting lives!
I went to Central Michigan University on saxophone and voice scholarships, and received a bachelor's degree in Music Education, and spent the next 13 years in the public schools with up to 900 children in my combined schools. On the weekends, my husband, Russ and I, would sing in various venues, and ended up starting Living Truth (Christian singing group) in 1979. It was at this time when I started collecting and playing 100 year old antique instruments such as the ukelin, marxophone, guitar-zither, mandolin-guitar, and at the same time falling in love with the hammered dulcimer. After 18 years full time, six albums, and the birth of our two daughters, we decided to get off "the road" and be able to attend our girls' activities as they went through their school years.
The last few years have given me the opportunity to develop as a hammered dulcimer and Irish whistle player, playing and teaching in my home and at many festivals. I also play at many weddings and craft fairs. I now have over 30 students on various instruments, and enjoy doing concerts and school assemblies. It is fun playing Celtic music with Sonas at Irish gatherings around the state, and making CDs with them.
Just recently released a Christmas CD, and I'm working on another solo dulcimer/whistle/harp/weird instruments CD, traveling to even more festivals around the U.S., and meeting more of you out there who feel as passionate as I do about playing music. Music is indeed the heart of God flowing out of us. Let’s enjoy it together!!