Just like disco, for me it began in the ‘70s. When I started playing the violin in Fairfax, VA, I was the only string student in my elementary school. The year my father was the PTA President I had to play for a PTA meeting to represent the program. That was my first public solo performance. The first of hundreds! By 1986 I had graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance from James Madison University, where I studied with Paul McEnderfer of the Boston Pops. In 1988 I received a Master’s in violin performance from Northwestern University where I studied with Blair Milton of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Chicagoland is rich in orchestral and other performance opportunities. I have played over 600 weddings, receptions, Bar Mitzvahs, church services, and other special events.
For over 30 years I have had the privilege of playing some of the most wonderful music at some of the coolest gigs! My favorites were Josh Groban and IL Volo at the Chicago Theater, Idina Menzel at Millenium Park, Peter Gabriel at the United Center, Maureen McGovern, Mel Torme, and the Ink Spots at Navy Pier, Shirley Jones at the Star Theater, and a tour of Taiwan with the Symphonic Pops Orchestra of Chicago. Cover bands are fun, too: Abba, Beatles, Led Zeppelin, James Taylor and Carole King, and the Jersey Boys. Most recently, I was the featured "house band" for the podcast "Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone" Episode #94 Tom Hanks...the Musical!
Orchestral experience includes Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Arts Orchestra, Associate Concertmaster of the Northwestern University Summer Symphony and Wheaton Summer Symphony, Northbrook Symphony, Elmhurst Symphony, Park Ridge Symphony, Kenosha Symphony, Concertmaster of the Harper Symphony, Illinois Symphony, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Symphonic Pops Orchestra of Chicago, a sub for Rockford Symphony and Northwest Indiana Symphonies, and Assistant Principal Second of the New Philharmonic.
As Concertmaster of the Harper Symphony, I was a featured soloist at multiple performances: the Khachaturian Violin Concerto, the Beethoven Romances #1 and #2, and the Dvorak Romance. For rehearsal purposes I learned the Beethoven, Glazunov, and David Amram Violin Concertos, as well as the Shostakovich Violin Concerto #1. The Windy City Choral Festival provided the opportunity for a solo violin performance at Symphony Center.
Each year, for over 30 years, I have taught 25-50 private violin and viola students weekly, ranging from 3rd – 12th grades. In addition to violin and viola, I taught beginning piano lessons, and have always accompanied my own string students for recitals, solo/ensemble contests, and other events. At Harper College I coached chamber music for several years, and I have been an IHSA registered judge for over 20 years, judging IMEA auditions and Solo/Ensemble contests.
In the moments when I have not been working, practicing, raising a family or helping at church, I have studied American Sign Language and did some rudimentary interpreting. Currently, in the summer months, watch for a woman on a black 1100 Honda Shadow carrying a violin case with reflective tape. That’s me!