In the nick
of time | Oil's
The bond of music
grand tradition of family troupes, one of TCU's most talented clans has
found that the family that sings together...well, you get the idea.
By Nancy Bartosek
THICK black wire snakes through a tasteful 10th-floor apartment in central
Fort Worth. It starts beside a stately grand piano, crawls through the kitchen
then disappears under the back door.
quite inconspicuous, simply a means to connect piano and vocal performances
to equipment in a recording studio next door. But to TCU pianist Janet
Pummill, it's also a tether that ties together a family, modern-day von
Trappers, scattered nationwide.
it will call them all home and again blend the voices and souls of the
musical Pummill family as they record more than 500 songs (yes, and by
June) for the latest edition of Silver Burdett Ginn's music education
brings us together," explains Julie, 18, the family's youngest talent.
"It's the one thing that moves us all. But Mom's the glue that holds us
Julie is talking about is a six-voice ballad, one of lives and love, that
began with romance (dedicated young accompanist wooed by handsome music
senior) and flowed through joys (birth of four children) and trials (job
insecurity and many moves) and features its own original accompaniment.
score is provided by Janet, TCU staff accompanist and church organist;
Sallie '93, who is 26 and working on a master's at the University of Illinois;
and Julie, 18, a senior at Paschal High School and a student of TCU's
Jose Feghali. Vocals are more comprehensive, a blending of six talented
voices, including father Douglas, a producer and singer; Patrick '96,
the 28-year-old only son who once starred in the Texas Boy's Choir and
is now sound designer for Madison Square Garden in New York City; and
Amy '96, 24 and studying voice at the University of Illinois.
I always had a goal of being a family performing group," Janet said. "So
from the very beginning we always included them in all our activities."
that wasn't such fun‹being thrust into grown-up social situations, Sallie
said. But much more valuable than any "typical homestead existence." "Because
we were so involved in their world as children, we became part of their
performing everywhere they went, a practice that taught them a special
skill‹communication through music.
feel that I comunicate better with my mom and sister when we are making
music together," she said.
the group will begin weekend rendezvous at the family's apartment. Over
the next few months they will record the CD that accompanies musical text
books used by K-8th grade music teachers throughout the nation‹all with
little or no practice.
performing together so long that we know how to do this, what to expect,"
Janet said. "The great thing is that the kids can go and have various
careers and still come back and pick up where we left off because we worked
so hard in the early years to build a core of sound and a work ethic.
We should be able to continue this type of thing together."
of thing" being music. Performance. Connecting.
that you're doing what you love to do," Julie adds. "Sometimes you get
stressed out because you have so much to do but you've got to be driven
by the music.
to love it."