I grew up in Sibley, Iowa, a small farming community, as part of an active musical family. I loved to sing and play in band and school, and was always doing both in church as well. I studied music at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Eventually, I narrowed my musical interest to church music, although Luther did not have a degree in it. I graduated with a BA in Vocal Music and a minor in Religion and moved straight into graduate school at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, earning my Master’s in Sacred Music in Conducting.