Accomplished St. Simons pianist Michele Jamieson not only fell in love with music at a young age, her passion for song also played an integral part in meeting the man that would become her husband. Playing music together continues as one of the strong bonds she shares with the couple’s four children.
“I started (playing the piano) at age 5. As typical of many Asian households,” she laughed, “there was a piano in our home, so it was assumed I would take lessons. But I loved it; I really loved it. I am going to be 50 this year, so I’ve loved playing the piano for 45 years.”
Michele’s parents, Manuel and Cleopatra Fontanilla, came to the United States from the Philippines and settled in Virginia, where they raised Michele and her brothers Michael and Richard. After high school, she attended the University of Virginia, majoring in biology. While there, she met a fellow student, Timothy Jamieson. “When I met him, he was learning to play piano when he was working on his Ph.D, and that was part of the initial attraction,” she said with a smile. “I thought at first: ‘Is this a pick-up line? Is this for real?’ And it was real. He was learning to play a Chopin concerto, and I thought, ‘this is really cool.’”