The daughter of Pastor Ralph C. Duke and Pamela Boyd Duke, growing up in the Washington, DC area her parents involved her in various creative arts groups. At the age of four, she began her musical journey in the children’s choir at First Baptist Church in Vienna, Virginia, where she developed a love for hymns and Negro spirituals.
In elementary school, Charmaine Michelle first started playing the cello but later switched to the trumpet. As a member of the national award-winning “Pride of Vienna” James Madison High School Band, she had the fortunate experience of sitting under the baton of Carl J. Bianchi (20 year conductor of the American Youth Philharmonic) and to perform at the Kennedy Center. Her senior year, the jazz band was lead by NSO Pops lead trumpet player and former member of “The President’s Own”, David Detwiler.
Also during this time she was heavily involved with the music ministry and creative arts team at Christ Fellowship Church in Herndon, Virginia where her father was associate Pastor. She was afforded the opportunity to write plays, lead the worship team and perform music with church band abroad in the Caribbean.