Bio/Gregory Parker Music and interior design have been the driving passions of my life. From earliest childhood, I was either picking out music I had heard on the piano or rearranging someone's living room (mostly in my head). I honestly thought everyone did this. I began my musical studies on the piano at age 9. I began singing in junior high school. I was quite fortunate to have wonderful mentor teachers for both piano and voice. Design would have to wait until a later time as there were simply no role models for me to follow in my circle of friends and family. By the time I reached college age I had decided I wanted to follow a career in music. I majored in both piano and voice and studied at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara as well as Westmont College. Following my piano instructor, I graduated with my B.A. in piano performance from Taylor University in Indiana. I was accepted into the graduate program in piano performance at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland. After completing my graduate degree in piano, I applied and was accepted into the graduate program in vocal performance at the Peabody. The following year I completed my graduate degree in voice. It was in Baltimore that I began to sing professionally with regional Opera companies and perform concert work in various churches in the area. I moved to Philadelphia to sing with the Philadelphia Singers and the Opera Company of Philadelphia. Later, I relocated to San Francisco to be closer to my family and to take advantage of the musical opportunities in the Bay Area. Finally, I moved back to the Los Angeles area to be closer (yet) to my family. At a certain point I realized that I needed to balance the design aspect of my nature with the musical aspects. I decided to go back to school to see whether this desire to create in a visual arena was more than just a passing interest. After an arduous four year commitment, I graduated with a B.S. in Interior Design from Woodbury University. During the time I was in school, I worked full time as a musician and was also working as an interior decorator. The blending of design and music began to work itself out in my life. I lived and studied in Paris for six months working for a design firm and performing in church and concert work. When I returned to the U.S., I began to build up my design business and to create performance opportunities as a singer. On Christmas Eclectic The Christmas season brings with it a deep desire to connect to those we love. The songs selected for this recording come out of that place. The broad range of styles and traditions remind us that the message of Christmas is universal and that music can inspire us to make that soul connection. This project was the direct result of a concert presented in December 2002 in the Great Lounge of the Ahwahnee Hotel in the beautiful Yosemite Valley. On Music and Design There are many parallels between design and music. The concepts of harmony, balance, rhythm, and line flow back and forth one to the other. One can create these moments both visually and aurally. Each one is gratifying in it's own way. Visually, these moments are tangible. Working on a design project is extremely exciting as it allows me to work out fundamental design issues in a creative and innovative manner much like a composer who is presented with a single melodic line and must create a complete musical composition. When the composer does this, he or she uses all of the skills available to him or her, and seeks new ways to express a familiar idea. There are only 12 tones in Western music. Think of all the myriad ways a composer has utilized these tones to great effect. The designer has a finite set of materials also. However, the possibilities to create something exciting and wonderful are endless.