In a chance meeting at a Hope Valley campout two years ago, school psychologist Margaret Dixon's life took an unexpected turn.
She was introduced to musician Nathan Alanz, and the friends now perform together around Carson Valley.
"My musical background was nothing until I met Nathan and he put an electric bass in my hands," the 53-year-old Gardnerville resident said. "I just applied a lot of what I know about learning, and a lot of people were patient with me."
Alanz, 52, had been performing solo since 2010, but wanted to step up his music.
After hearing Dixon take to playing bass guitar so easily he encouraged her to pursue it further.
"She blew me away actually. She's a real hard worker. She had a natural knack for it," Alanz said. "She just kept getting better and better. It turns out she has an absolutely beautiful voice. It just blends with my voice. I'm trying to get her to do more lead vocals."
The Nathan Alanz Duet played their first show together at Jethro's last fall.
"It was frightening, but there was some smiling faces out there," Dixon said. "I want them to have a good time and experience the message of the songs."
The duet performs acoustic rock and adult alternative styles of music.
"It's not quite pop and it's not classic rock," Alanz said. "It's current rock songs."
They also collaborated on a children's song "Love is Not Like Pizza," about children fighting over their mother's love. They performed it in classrooms at Scarselli and Gardnerville elementary schools where Dixon works.
"A little kindergartner wrote 'Miss Maggie is befl' (beautiful)," Dixon said. "One behavior problem little boy complimented me. I was surprised he would do that."
Dixon said she enjoys the challenges playing bass and singing presents.
"It challenges my brain. It's a creative outlet, and it's exciting," she said. "It's nice to have a task in your life where you feel you're never going to get bored. Making music with other people is amazing."
When not performing as a duet, Alanz and Dixon perform with Kyle Bohmfalk as The Scarlet Verbs.
The Nathan Alanz Duet's next performance is Sept. 20 at Mc P's in Lake Tahoe. The Scarlet Verbs perform Sept. 15 at Jethro's.
For more information, visit Alanz's webpage at www.nathanalanz.com.