My parents are very interested in music and have a strong appreciation for it. They attend the symphony regularly and my father sings with the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. I grew up listening to music of all types, my least favorite being classical. I was about six when I attended my first Pittsburgh Symphony concert. If memory serves, André Previn conducted something, then Itzhak Perlman played the Four Seasons. I did NOT want to go. The concert was the same night as my church's Hearts for Jesus Dance, and doing the Electric Slide with a bunch of Lutherans seemed ten million times more fun and interesting than listening to world-class musicians play amazing music. Go figure.
When I was about twelve, I gained a whole new appreciation for music. I was home sick and my mom was performing her spring ritual--making potato-leek soup and listening to the Rite of Spring. I so vividly remember laying on the couch, listening to this music and thinking, "What the hell is this??" I didn't have any idea that music could be like that or could illicit such a strong emotional response. I decided right then and there that I wanted to be a part of it. I started playing clarinet, but switched to bassoon because it was so much larger--my mom says I have a Napoleonic complex. Here I sit, twelve years later, listening to the Rite of Spring and feeling the same way I did when I first heard it. What a hoot.