First, and foremost, I would like to thank Barbara York. Barbara gave my heart and soul music that I didn't know could exist for my instrument/s. More importantly, she was one of my dearest friends and mentors. She emailed DMA programs and scoped them out, wrote recommendations, asked about opportunities...all without my knowledge simply because she cared. I owe a great deal of my musical career to her and it has become my intent to ensure that her legacy lives on, through her music.
Second, Professor Tom Stein. Tom has been a guiding light in many aspects of my life, and tuba is only a small part of that. He inspires me with his energy, thoughtfulness, and dedication to his students. Thank you, Stein.
Third, the love of my life: Christopher (Topher) Kurt. You have held me in the best and worst moments of life I have experienced over the last few years. I am so excited to marry you.
Fourth, my parents. I could not have asked for better role models, inspirations, and teachers. You have done whatever it takes from the beginning of my musical career from driving me all over the country, to buying the tuba that would help me succeed, to reminding me that I am loved and worthy. Thank you.
Fifth, the numerous teachers in my academic career that have pushed me to be the advocate and teacher I am today. Dr. DeSimone, Professor Davis, Dr. Parisi, Professor Benjamin, Dr. Whitten, Dr. Marchant, Professor Hastings, Dr. Hall, Dr. Ross, Teresa Kelley, Connie Tallman, and Megan Gabehardt. There are many more, but each of you are indelible in my journey. Thank you.
Lastly, my friends James Ryals, Noey De Leon, and Christine Lovell. Each of you have helped in a number of ways that I can never repay, especially James. I love you all.