My Inspirations

Here are some things that have inspired me. I hope you enjoy them, and maybe even derive some inspiration for yourself. I’d love to hear from you, too – let me know what inspires you!


For as long as I can remember, music has been the source of greatest joy and personal fulfillment. The moments and occasions of profound impact have been many and to choose the most significant is almost impossible.

Looming at the top, I would have to say that two of the most momentous experiences both took place during visits to Vienna. The first, during a bitter cold December trip, was hearing a live performance of the Mozart Requiem in the Augustiner Kirche. The occasions to hear the music of Mozart are plentiful in Vienna and most of them are well worth the price of admission. My husband and I just happened to be walking by the church minutes before the performance by the resident choir and orchestra was to begin and our spontaneous decision to attend turned out to be one of the best we ever made. Not only was the performance first rate in all aspects but the impact on the listeners was so spiritually profound that even thinking about it today, brings tears to my eyes. No one seemed to mind the unheated interior as we all sat bundled up in reverent silence throughout the entire work, many moved to prayer, many quietly weeping. I have since tried in vain to find a recording that could evoke the same response.

The other deeply inspirational Viennese experience was my visit to Beethoven’s Haus, where I was invited to play The Master’s pianoforte. I was already awed by even being there and this invitation was almost more than I could handle. My heart was beating so hard as I approached the instrument that I actually feared I was having a heart attack. Out of respect for the age of the instrument, I played only a few measures of a Sonata but it’s sweet voice and feel of the light action linger in my being today. The realization that I most likely could hear it better than Beethoven could, left a melancholy note on the experience.

Jocelyn Chaparro
Pianist and Organist

Choosing one “most meaningful musical life’s inspiration” is indeed difficult. There have been so many!

I think of listening experiences I have had encountering beautiful music for the very first time. As a college student in Music History class, hearing compositions for the first time:

Studying early Baroque music and experiencing Heinrich Schutz’s “Fili mi, Absolom” from his Sacred Symphonies for four trombones, bass solo and continuo. The mournful yet heavenly counterpoint brought me to tears.

Hearing Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony for the first time and experiencing the unbounded joy of the first movement. This allowed me to come to know this great composer in a personal way.

Finding my first recording of Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra and listening to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra brass section under Fritz Reiner’s baton playing their moment of glory in the first movement – absolutely awe inspiring!

And watching the entire Wagner Ring cycle for the first time and being in the presence of God-given genius.

And these first time listening experiences go on! Exploring music we have not yet heard brings great joy.

This inspires me as a musician to practice on my instrument and to strive to be a better conductor in order to do justice to this music.

Dr. David W. Rox
Professor of Music
Director of Bands
Gordon College

My former teacher Sam Baron (1925 – 1997). He was such an inspiration to me in so many ways. Here are some Words of Wisdom, from my teacher to you!.

What is Practicing?
Practicing is essentially repetition – you repeat things over and over. There is a goal in this activity. Through repetition you achieve something that might be called a groove in the brain or a habit.

What are the benefits of practice?
Through practice we achieve a oneness with the instrument and the music. Imagine the time you spend with your flute as talking to it. You will soon realize that you have talked to the flute more than you have talked to your spouse or children, your mother or your father, your best friend or your sweetheart. That flute is your best friend, and the time you spend with it is bonding. That’s what we’re after as flutists and musicians.

Secondly, practice affords growth and improvement – the bread and butter of practicing.

All of this improvement and growth and expression through the instrument happens through the cycle of practice.

My mother chose a “signature” lullaby for each of her children. Mine was Brahms’ Cradle Song. What baby couldn’t resist being drawn to music when her first music was Brahms? Mama also insisted her children learn to dance the waltz … and she patiently counted “1-2-3” as she hummed “The Beautiful Blue Danube.” My father was a huge opera fan, and I’d crawl up on his lap and lay my head against his chest as we listened to recordings with Lilly Pons and Renata Tebaldi, Mario Lanza to Sherrill Milnes. If we weren’t listening to WCRB … then it was because we were listening to his huge LP opera collection. I begged for piano lessons when I was in first grade … and started at age 6, continuing with various wonderful teachers until I was 18.

Every experience, every song, every teacher, every moment of my life … inspired / inspires me.

Laura Carlo
Morning Program Host
99.5 WCRB

This is a picture of my beloved flute teacher
and Mentor, Frances Blaisdell. I was inspired by a quote by her friend and colleague Jean-Pierre Rampal, both great musicians now deceased.

“You have to know how to take advantage of your talents, and hard work. And, if you are lucky enough you will be given a break. I think you also need love to make the most of the opportunity – the love of and for the public. The people listening to you must be aware that you love them and you want them to love you in return. I have always felt this emotion on stage, it is a special kind of symbioses, one that allows you to be in contact with your audience.”

– from Jean-Pierre Rampal.

A limerick by Jean Antrim –
“I once knew an Old Man named Fred
Who had an IDEA in his head,
His mind had a flow, to play Piccolo,
So at 80, he DID what he said!”

From Frances Blaisdell –
“Be a Channel for Love -sweet, peaceful, harmonious- to flow through.”