I always wanted to be an actor, but I always loved design, and growing up in New Orleans there was such great style, great architecture. I would decorate my little apartment in New York over and over again, because it only had a couple of rooms. And I did it for friends and family on the side just for fun.
With vocal and choral music, first and foremost, it's the text. Not only do I need to serve the text, but the text - when I'm doing it right - acts as the perfect 'blueprint', and all the architecture is there. The poet has done the heavy lifting, so my job is to find the soul of the poem and then somehow translate that into music.
The thing about Chicago is that it really isn't like any other place. The architecture and the layout of the city are the best. I'm from the Midwest, and consider myself a Midwesterner. I feel most at home there. I love California. I have great friends in California. I just have always considered Illinois to be home.