Welcome to my first blog post. It’s amazing how much time it takes to do something that (theoretically) is so simple. I have new respect for people who post all the time!
Let me tell you about me. I am one of seven(!) children of a military family, so until I was twelve we traveled back and forth between Army bases. As a result, I was actually born in Japan(since Mom and Dad are both from the US, that didn’t give me Japaneses citizenship. I have a bachelors degree in Music Education (cum laude), A Masters in Opera Performance, and taught grade school music for five years. I have participated in vocal competitions since high school, and won third place in the Leontyne Price Vocal Competition, held at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
Music has always been my passion; I started singing solos for church in third grade, and throughout my school years I was in choruses, ensembles, and singing groups of all kinds, while continuing solo work.
In sixth grade I wanted to learn a musical instrument, and chose glockenspiel, but since the band director couldn’t get one for me, I learned drums; for a long time I was the only female percussionist in our school district, and I was one of the few drummers who could sight-read the music. (Note: I attended summer choral workshops at K-State, and one year was elected outstanding vocalist by the various choral conductors. When the orchestra conductor presented the award to me at the final concert, he commented that he had been stunned to hear I was a singer, because he had been so impressed by my skills as a drummer).
Junior high brought a new priest to my school, and he taught me how to play folk guitar so I could accompany myself and play for Mass.
My undergrad degree is in Music Education–elementary school and high school levels, both instrumental and vocal. Since it was a very small college, with an even smaller music department, everybody had to double and triple up to get productions performed. So I was a percussionist for the orchestra(and drafted to play for the city’s youth orchestra) pep band, and pit band for the musicals, while singing in all the choirs(concert choir, girls chorus, mixed ensemble and occasionally the folk choir for mass, and working on my minor in voice performance, Although I lived in the dorms on campus all four years, most people were unaware of this because most of my time was spent in the music building. One notable side note; I was the MC for the campus Mr. Legs competition for two years, which meant I had to entirely ad lib a humorous “beauty” competition involving the few men on campus(ratio of women to men was 3:1).
After graduation, I taught elementary school music for Morris Hill Elementary School at Fort Riley, Kansas, grades k-6, 14 classes per day, At the same time, I resumed vocal studies at K-State, until I decided to quit teaching and spent a year doing remedial graduate studies there. I received an honorable mention in the US Army FORSCOM competition, and a participant in the Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians vocal workshop. Then I transferred to Oklahoma City University where I completed a Masters in Opera Performance.
After completing my degree, i moved to Philadelphia, where I was a soloist for St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and other churches in the area. I also performed in concerts with Opera Ebony, and opera with both Pennsylvania Opera, and Opera North. To expand my repertoire, I sang at Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony two summers, and Busch Garden The Old Country in Williamsburg, VA(The Italy Show).
I moved NYC in 1993, and dived into the world of my first musical loves, Jazz and cabaret music. I have performed at various clubs and restaurants in the city, and created a solo show called “Soprano Smolder”,whose focus is on singing standards in their original, higher keys. Since I am a lyric-coloratura, it means I can float a high C, and sing with a warm tone in higher ranges..Singing cabaret means I can both sing songs I love and indulge my humorous streak.
Please feel free to check out my resume and video pages to learn more about my vocal style.