INSPIRE Spotlight: Kathy Varga

Kathy Varga
Kathy Varga, Pianist/Alto
1. How long have you been playing the piano and what brought you to INSPIRE?
I started playing the piano when I was five years old and have taken lessons on and off since then.  My mom had this idea that it would be cool for all her children to be able to play the church hymns (sounds familiar, right?).  All of my older siblings had taken piano lessons, so it was the cool “big kid” thing to do.  I remember begging to start and being really excited about going. I ended up entering Arizona State University as a piano performance major and graduated with a degree in music in 2005. 
I found out about INSPIRE on Facebook.  A friend of mine was in the choir and posted about auditions. I had been looking for an opportunity to be musically involved for a long time, but nothing had been a good fit yet. The timing was also interesting as I had just finished living through two very difficult years and was looking for some healing in my life. I saw on the auditions info that they were looking for singers, but emailed them and asked if they needed a pianist anyway (long shot, but heh–why not?). My little miracle happened and they took me in (what choir wants TWO pianists!?).  I love having the chance to share the love of God with everyone that comes to performances. That alone makes life awesome. 
2. You have been the one to organize our food on many occasions and I’m curious about what draws you to that task?
I love food.  What can I say?  🙂  Actually, even more than eating food, I really like looking for and trying new recipes.  Every one is a new adventure.  Preparing the food for INSPIRE just gives me an excuse.
3. Tell us a little bit about your day job?
I earn my pennies by working as a speech language pathologist for Gilbert Public Schools. My work week includes preschoolers to teenagers and I especially enjoy working with high functioning autism and cognitive disorders. The kids make me laugh every day.  I admire their compassion, their hard work, their enthusiasm for life and their resilience. Sometimes they are challenging, and I don’t love the paperwork, but I really enjoy being able to work at making their lives a little easier. 
4. What is one experience in your life that you think made a huge impact?
One that comes to mind was when I was practicing in an ASU piano room very late one night. I was working on a difficult Rachmaninoff etude and was frustrated with it and frustrated with some things in my life.  With every bang I just got more frustrated. Within a second of literally throwing my hands back over my head from the piano in a whoosh of caving drive, some unfamiliar eyes poked through the window and two hippie, tree-loving strangers came in to talk with me. They had been practicing in a nearby room and just felt like coming over. They didn’t stay too long, but left me with some unsolicited encouraging words. The power to give strength to others is held by all of us should we choose to use it.  Experiences like this have taught me that every opportunity to give strength to others, no matter how seemingly insignificant, you should take without hesitation. You just never know the good that you do.
5.  What are some of your hobbies or ways you spend your time?
I think I enjoy what most people do, family, friends, movies, travel and youtube. 🙂 Time is scarce these days, but I recently have discovered a love of photography.  I enjoy nature and architecture, so I love to take my camera and go exploring when I get the chance.  I love that I can take a billion shots, get a few decent ones and still call it good.  I’m a bit of a nerd, so I always find a good thinker book or conversation enjoyable, too.   
6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hard question. I just know that whatever I am doing, I will be growing.