I first met Taylor my freshman year at Gonzaga. My pal Ann and I had decided to be roommates and saw Taylor’s name on a list of girls who were also going to be in our “suite” in our dorm, Dillon. “Isn’t that the girl who always has cute clothes and plays violin at Mass at St. Al’s?” Ann asked me. Yes it was! We met with Taylor and her roommate and bestie, also named Leslie, a few times before we moved into our suite as sophomores. I know everyone thinks they had the best roommates and their suite was the best, but no, really, ours was.
|Our college family, sophomore year|
There was me, my creative and kind roomie Ann, there was Marjie, a music education major who was from Spokane and is to this day, one of the funniest, most outrageous people I know, Rachael, an adorable freshman who was cooler than any of us sophomores would ever be. Did I mention she has a heart of gold? Then there was Taylor and Leslie in the last room. Those girls….it’s rare to find friends that are both completely caring and supportive, but also hilarious and silly and fun. Some of my best memories are in that suite with those wild and wonderful women. We baked a lot of cookies, had many late night movie parties, decked out our living spaces for the holidays and even brought a cardboard baby into our suite to make it more home-y. We named him Ishtar….a name that popped up when one of us was studying for a test. There was so much laughter and joy and life in that space.
|High School Musical Party|
Through it all, Taylor continued to practice and perfect her music abilities. She played the violin and also bought a keyboard that year. We’d have fun playing around with the sound effects on it and listening to her practice. I continued to live with Taylor and Leslie all through senior year. Taylor continued playing violin at Mass and also taught violin lessons. It was a fun outing for our friend group when Taylor and our honorary housemate, Trevor (the tallest guy you will ever meet, also with the driest sense of humor out there. We joked he was the mascot of our girly house) would have performances in downtown Spokane. We’d get dressed up and watch them perform with the symphony and go out to eat at The Onion afterward, in our fancy clothes, noshing on onion rings till late at night. After graduation, Taylor and I continued to keep in touch.
|Girls trip to Orlando, spring break 2009|
Her wedding in 2011 was an amazing chance to celebrate her marriage to her long time soulmate (and I mean long time, like “together since they were 14” long time) Jarred, and also to get the whole gang back together again. It was like no time had passed. One weekend when I was living in Chicago, she was in town visiting and she told me “Work is going ok, but my real passion is music. I wish I could make that my career.” So, on the side, while working for a non-profit, Taylor launched a youtube channel where she played her violin and was able to have her music reach other musicians and those that enjoyed her playing. Wellll…...over the past 5 or so years, I have followed her career and she achieved her dream: Music is her career. She recently achieved the milestone of over 1 million followers on her Youtube channel. Taylor has found a real niche in playing beautifully classical songs but also movie scores, songs from video games, and even pop songs. She shoots these gorgeous videos shot in amazing places. She just finished a US tour and is embarking on a world tour now. This woman is incredible. A few weeks ago, AJ and my family attended her performance here in Salt Lake City. It was spectacular.
|Tay's rehearsal dinner, 2011|
Taylor, I am so proud of you. I am so thrilled that you took a leap of faith, followed your dreams, and are filling this world (and the Internet) with gorgeous, amazing music. You have no idea how many people your music touches and inspires. But to me, she’s still that giggling 19 year old practicing crazy songs on the violin in her pajamas while we all laughed until the kitchen timer went off and we ate cookies and talked about life till 3 am. Could we ever have imagined?
Check our Taylor's YouTiube channel here