Genma Speaks

Entrepreneur/ Writer/ Radio-Host

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Tolk Family on Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes

Thank you for continuing to join Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes during the month of December. We are hearing amazing stories of faith that will "empower, inspire, and motivate you to live your best life". Hear powerful individuals with diverse backgrounds from around the country share how their faith have shaped their lives as well others.

Tune in as we hear how they have soared and taken others with them. We will also hear how they have overcome personal struggles that affected their leadership and personal lives. Living Your Best Life can be heard every Saturday on 760 AM in the Nashville-Middle Tennessee region and on worldwide on Ustream.TV from 9-10AM CST.

Join us on Christmas Eve for a very special show with the Tolk Family. Hear from Tennessee's Music Teach of the Year and Tolk family matriarch, Marilyn Tolk; her son, pianist, composer and legal eagle, David Tolk; and her son-in-law, renown painter, sculptor and children author, J. Kirk Richards. Hear each of them share about their deep faith and staying grounded while in the spotlight. Listen as they share about their individual lives and how they draw strength from each other. This show promises to empower, inspire, and motivate one to live a better life as we look forward to the upcoming New Year.

More About the Tolk Family:

David Tolk
A gentleman unafraid to admit his mother's influence in his life, David H. Tolk is a pianist and keyboardist highly esteemed by his peers. The son of a mother who is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and a father with a doctorate in Physics, Tolk was exposed to an academic environment that included piano instruction by his mother. Talented enough to be a musician for a living, he instead chooses to balance a dual career as lawyer and musician. He admits enjoying both. “I very much enjoy combining a career in music with a career as an attorney. These two fields have blended quite well to create a wonderful harmony in my life," Tolk says in an online interview. “People always ask when I will give up being an attorney to pursue music full time. My music is a reflection of my life, my travels, my family and my experiences. I will continue to seek to maintain a balance among all of those different areas."

Finding a harmonious balance between his careers and his family is an important part of his life's melody. Married to Lisa, David has two daughters and one son. Apparently he's successful in achieving the balance as artists he's worked with describe him as a classy guy. Independent recording artist Peter Breinholt says that Tolk has “unreal" musicianship, “but it's been his personality that has endeared the band (Big Parade) and the audience the most to him. He's a huge part of what we do now, and his wit and integrity are part of why he's been able to have success with his own albums, I think."“As a person," says Colors member Russ Dixon, “David is one of the most sincere individuals I know." Tolk plays piano, synthesizers and acoustic guitar in the band Big Parade, his studio work and on his own albums; but the piano is his first love. His mother's influence included intensive exposure to classical masters and his compositions reflect this as they are a blend of New Age and Contemporary Instrumental genres.

Davids' educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Brigham Young University, and a degree in law from the University of Utah. As of 2002, he and his family made their home in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, Utah.

J. Kirk Richards
Figurative artist J. Kirk Richards is becoming increasingly known for his accomplishments as a painter of Judeo-Christian themes. While not all of his paintings are overtly religious, the majority of his themes stem from spiritual ideas and narratives. He continues to work in a surprising variety of styles, but most of his paintings exhibit a love for the human figure, general use of symbolism and metaphor, and an emphasis on lyric composition.

Kirk is the fourth of eight musical children. He attributes much of his love for the arts to an early emphasis on musical training in the home. As a teen, his interests turned from music to visual arts. He took private lessons from artist Clayton Williams to supplement his public school studies. Upon graduation, Richards was accepted into the B.Y.U. art program where he studied with artists Bruce Smith, Hagen Haltern, Gary Barton, James Christensen, Wulf Barsch, Joe Ostraff, and others.

Kirk took a break from University studies to briefly apprentice with Swiss-born symbolist Patrick Devonas. Richards attributes his learning of classical realist skills to the instruction he received from Devonas in Princeton, New Jersey.

Marilyn Tolk
Marilyn Tolk, 2011 Tennessee Music Teachers Association's Music Teacher of the Year, was born in Canada and at age twenty-one moved to New York City to attend the Juilliard School of Music where she studied with Irwin Freundlich and Adele Marcus. She also received a degree in music education from Teachers College at Columbia University. She taught briefly at the New York Institute for the Blind in the Bronx, and then moved to Mendham, New Jersey where she performed and taught for sixteen years. In 1984, she moved to her current home in Nashville, TN.

Her students have received many superior ratings in local and state TMTA auditions, in addition to awards in Federation, Guild, and Clavierfest. She was one of the founders of the Nashville Piano Achievement Competition and served as its President for ten years. Several of her students have gone on to major in music. She has served as an adjudicator for Federation, NAMTA, Winterfest and Guild.

Marilyn is also a composer, arranger, organist and choral conductor. She has recently taken up the art of storytelling, which has become an inspirational vehicle for sharing her love of music and of life. Marilyn is celebrating her 50th Anniversary this year to Vanderbilt Physics Professor, Norm Tolk.
For more info about Marilyn Tolk click here and here

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