There, tucked between the Herb Alpert and an abandoned children's record, she found an album of the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta. She played the A side (Ravel's Bolero and Tchaikovsky's Marche Slave) over and over again, mesmerized by the changes of color the composers could produce with different instruments, and by the images the music conjured in her imagination. Thanks to teachers and professors with high expectations and a taste for demanding repertoire, Valerie was able to explore orchestral, chamber and vocal music from the inside out, all through high school and college. At some point during an unfocused pursuit of a bachelor's degree, she wandered into the studios of KNAU (now Arizona Public Radio) in Flagstaff, Arizona. A stint as a volunteer in the music library inevitably led to being placed, unwillingly, in front of a microphone. It became surprisingly less terrifying each time, so she stayed. Ten years later, she packed her bike and her cat into a small pickup truck and drove to St. Paul, Minnesota to work for Classical24. When she's not playing classical music or talking about classical music, she's likely to be reading, sewing, singing or cooking. Valerie shares her life with her partner John, an artist, and their two cats: Mirra and Dieter.