I was blessed with musical genes from my mother, Cherry Folger, a professional trumpet player and orchestrator for Terrytunes Cartoons. She was the first female trumpeter to play with the NC Symphony. You can hear a story about the all-women’s band she started called "The Darlinettes" on NPR’s Weekend Edition.
Unfortunately, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was a baby and died soon after I turned four years old. This denied me the privilege of learning music from her directly, so I put myself to work learning from thevast library of LP’s, piano music, and compositions she left behind.In a valiant effort to carry on my mother’s musical influence in our lives, my father took all four of us children, usually under much protest, to classical concerts and performances. Although I did not appreciate it at the time, those experiences impacted my life greatly. My mother's musical legacy resided in me.
I was very fortunate to have great piano teachers growing up in my hometown of Rocky Mount, NC, and then at Meredith College in Raleigh where I graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in both Piano Performance and Music Education. I give credit to my father for making sure I had the college preparation I needed in order to major in music. Tragically, he passed away of a heart attack just before I graduated from high school, so he did not get to see the fruit of his investment. He did know, however, that I was planning to major in music. I know he and my mother would have been proud to see me chosen by the Meredith music faculty as the Presser Scholar, an honor bestowed on the most outstanding senior music major. This remains a very humbling highlight of my life.
Music has always been one of the most powerful threads woven throughout the fabric of my life, as well as the lives of my husband and two children. WhenI am teaching, singing, leading worship, or playing piano, I am aware that one of the greatest gifts in my life has been the ability to experience and share the love of God through music. - Marlowe Carruth