Music is a sustaining power in my life; it feeds me, mystifies me and brings me immense joy.
Learning the language of music is a lifetime challenge and I am honored to grow as a musician;
to learn, to mentor others and to give back something beautiful to the world.
I grew up in the small town of Blue Hill, Maine nestled in the forest on the edge of the ocean. My parents are both self taught folk musicians and from a young age I heard them playing traditional tunes on the fiddle and banjo for contra dances, weddings and other events. Growing up with my two younger sisters we listened to lots of different kinds of music. My mom had Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Carole King records and my dad was into Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis and the artists from the Motown era. These sounds absorbed into my being and gave me a glimpse into the vast, rich world of music. We had an old upright piano in our house and I remember climbing up onto the bench and feeling the silkiness of the keys and reveling at the sounds that were produced when I pressed them. I was drawn to the piano and loved creating my own melodies. Though I have to credit my dad as my first piano teacher, I began official piano lessons with Win Pusey at age eight. Once I advanced to 6th grade my parents made the commitment to drive me an hour every week after school up to Bangor so that I could take piano lessons with Ginger Hwalek who helped guide my classical playing to the next level.
In 7th grade when I formed an a cappella group at the Bay School with some of my friends, I really started to get excited about exploring my voice. Sarah Stevens was our music teacher at that time and she was so influential in sparking my love of singing. Every 8th grader at my school, (graduating class of 12!) had the opportunity to do an end of the year project and I chose to record my own 7 track CD in a professional studio. The process of arranging pieces and songs, recording them in the studio, seeing how they were mixed and polished, witnessing the time and energy that went into making an album was fascinating to me. Being there in that space and creating something, bringing ideas to life was an incredible feeling and I knew that I wanted to continue to pursue that feeling.
During my high school years at George Stevens Academy led by the enthusiastic Mr Orlofsky, I ventured into the world of jazz, and fueled by the energy from our award winning Jazzband and combos, I learned how to read lead sheets, chord symbols and how to improvise. Encouraged by my mentor and former teacher Ginger Hwalek and my elementary school teacher Catherine Razi I decided to enroll in the School of Music at University of Maine. My piano lessons with Polish dynamo, Baycka Voronietsky were the highlight of my time at UMaine. I also started offering piano lessons to some of my college friends and discovered that I loved teaching!
In fulfillment of my of Bachelor's degree in Piano Performance, I performed a junior and a senior recital, all classical, solo piano music, all from memory. I love classical music, but this is also just one side of me. Since I was a young girl I have always kept a journal and I have so many notebooks full of poems, lyrics, thoughts, dreams and experiences. Writing has always felt like a therapeutic outlet, but I think the challenge for me is seeing a song through to completion; finding the ideal blend of melody, chords and lyrics. For my senior recital I composed and performed an original song. This process opened me up to the avenue of songwriting and inspired me to continue writing and seeking collaborations with other singer/songwriters.
I have worked as a professional musician in Portland, ME, New Haven, CT, Santa Fe, NM and Nashville, TN. It has been an honor to collaborate with so many creative, kind and intelligent people along this path. Now, as I return to my roots and establish myself in Maine, I look forward to continuing the musical journey!