Music enriches lives

By Anna Skaggs

Music in my life has been like breathing.

I grew up in a second-generation Czech family, the Grisaks. Everyone in my family played a musical instrument sang and learned to whistle tunes. I grew up thinking the whole world loved music.

Favorite childhood memories were hearing daddy playing Celtic, gypsy and bluegrass music on his violin. The beautiful music echoed up and down the vast New Mexico ranch canyons and mountains.

Once a month our five-family clan gathered for a “big baile,” an all night family dance. There was food all you could eat and it was dance ’till you drop!

Saturday afternoons beginning at age 4, I listened to Radio Opera. Then I sang “Opera” to an audience of cousins, dolls, a goat and Tom Cat. An old sheet draped around the “singer” enhanced drama. Harriett Fisher who had played for Billy Graham Crusades, was my first professional piano teacher. Her love for music, firm melodic touch, creative chord progressions and runs fascinated and inspired me to study music seriously.

I graduated from Roswell High School and enrolled at ENMU. Dr. Robert Page and Glynn Page, his wife and music instructor inspired me to major in vocal music. I earned a Bachelor of Arts