I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon until the age of seven when my family moved to Spokane. My musical calling started in the thired gread when I organized a plastic flute band. We regularly played at school functions, but the crescendo of our career came during World War II when the band was asked to perform on the Spokane Rangers' Radio Show. I also studied piano, but never really learned much about music. My teacher was always anxious that I get a hight mark at the annual music festival, so I became the student who worked all year to memorize three pieces.... just to secure a "superior" from the judges.
In high school, I formed a vocal quartet. We often performed for the Women's Club or the Lions or Rotary and soon were picking up $10 hear and there. In fact, we were regulars on a local TV program, but it was scheduled opposite the Freiday Night Fights so the size of our audience was questionable.
I studied hard, excelled in sports and got an NROTC scholorship to Stanford. Unfortunately, I had no read direction once I got to college. Oh, I guess I was interested in sciences; everything was so straightforward. But at that level there was nothing that required creativity or inspiration. Generally speaking, I had little motivation... not even for music.
My major was engineering, but when I switched to medicine I transferred to the University of Washington. The change didn't help. I wanted to want something. I just didn't know what.
I heard that back in Spokane, Gonzaga University was offering a scholarship in the Men's Glee Club. It seemed to make sense, so I undertook it. The director of the Glee Club was a remarkable person named Lyle Moore. He was an excellent musician with an intense, charismatic personality. His perfectionism and humor drew me in. I wasn't a gung-ho choral singer, but this man taught me the discipline and precision of group singing that helped me much later on.
I was turning more and more to music to fill the void that other subjects couldn't. The Trio was formed while I was at Gonzaga and every time it showed signs of being a temporary college thing, we were booked at yet another Job's Daughters' convention by Fr. Beaver, a lay priest we knew. In my mother's eyes, of course, he was ruining a perfectly good medical career.