I am a first soprano vocalist, trained by Douglas Susu-Mago, trainer to vocalists in the Chicago Lyric Opera.
That means I love singing songs from arias in Italian or French and I would win any game involving “name that musical.” I was singing “Don’t Rain on My Parade” at the top of my 7-year old lungs in my parents’ basement when that movie first premiered. My sister and I sang for friends and family and anyone who came over for coffee at an early age, with my father accompanying us. We fought over the microphone, of course, and I usually got it, but she has three notes above my high C. While attending St. Olaf College, I was accepted a full year early as a sophomore in the well-respected St. Olaf a capella Choir and endured the usual hazing, forehead to baseball bat, then walking down a hill. I wanted to sing, so I did it.
I started Wedding Song Trio in 1983 with my father, Patrick Ferreri, and a flautist named Arthur Lauer, who has since passed away from cancer. My father’s site tell his story from winning a guitar competition at the age 14 to being revered in the Chicagoland for his ability to compose on the spot and sight read the most complex of compositions without a single error. Here is our rendition of “Come to Me/Jesus is Calling:” and the website I designed for my father: www.patrickferreri.com
I also love to sew and I was taught from an early age by my mother on a Singer treadle machine, making a majority of my own clothes by high school. I have a long waist and long legs, so it was easier to make items to fit, going to Jo-ann Fabrics and buying a bolt that would make a dress, a skirt or several blouses. My mother was a seamstress and my grandmother before her as well; both made complicated sequinned costumes for dancing performances–tap and ballet. In college, I learned how to make my own patterns, as did my mother, [the techical term is “slopers”] and added crocheting blankets while dropping knitting like a hot potato. I still have the one military green slipper with a pom-pom I knitted as a teen and if there is a one-footed person out there who wants it, I will gladly send it to them. Many of my sewing skills were learned in Girl Scouts. If there was a patch for it, I earned it. I enjoyed cross stitch and moved on to learn 100 embroidery stitches, using the Coats and Clark 1975 booklet. I started my own couture line in 2009 and made finery out of silk and satin for special occasions. I too got caught up in the make-your-own-masks mantra from our main stream media in 2020 and I made 99 of them before I decided I was born free to live free.
This is why I say when I write PR or design a website, I bring a wealth of background in lyrics and musicality to the process. I want every project to be a thing of beauty, not just a check-marked box of something completed on time. Artistry is what makes life interesting and and “rugged individualism” is the American way.
At the age of 52, I learned how to fish in lakes in Tennessee from the bank and in a john boat…and I have caught my fair share of sunfish and bass, baiting my own hook with a cricket [using oversized sewing tweezers] and removing the fish hook with my own hands. I felt it was important for me to have some survival skills and being able to catch the evening’s meal was a good start. I learned to shoot guns for the same reason. I moved from fear of them to proficient shooting of them and if men can count marksmanship a skill, I believe women can too. I see no reason for a woman to quivver in the corner waiting to be “saved” from danger, when she can shoot the intruder and save herself!