I was born and raised out in the west Texas town of El Paso. My journey as a musician officially began at age 6 when I started playing the piano. I took lessons for six years, doing well enough, and was (kindly) released from my teacher's studio. You see, I had begun studying the flute and my incessant habit of talking only about the flute revealed that my interest in the piano simply could not compete. Thankfully my foundation had been quite solid and I was able to flourish in sixth grade band due to the knowledge my dear piano teacher had imparted. I began private flute lessons before the beginning of band, and was grateful for the head start. I was tremendously fortunate to be accepted into the studio of Barbara Lambrecht, a highly acclaimed band director and flutist. She held me to a high standard and taught me to see my own potential and work towards it. After two years in middle school band, I attended summer camp at Interlochen Center for the Arts for the next three summers. There I met a wide array of musicians and artists and was completely sold on music as a career I would passionately pursue.
The next turning point for me came in the spring of my freshman year of high school when I was blessed to be a part of the school symphony for a few precious months of the year (the rest of the time it was just string orchestra). Playing in an orchestral setting felt like the perfect combination of everything I loved about music; access to the master classical works, playing as a group, but being on an instrument that often served a soloistic role within the ensemble. After my sophomore year, our orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall and I served as the piccolo player. After one more year at my home high school, I applied and was accepted once again to Interlochen Center for the Arts, but this time to the Academy, where I would attend my senior year and earn my high school diploma.
After my year on the small but magical campus of Interlochen in beautiful Michigan, I returned to Texas to attend the University of North Texas under the tutelage of Dr. Mary Karen Clardy, pursuing and earning a Bachelors of Music in flute performance. I credit Dr. Clardy with who I am as a flutist today. She took my raw (but well nurtured by previous teachers) talent and passion and molded it into a flexible, versatile set of abilities that continues to carry me through the solo, chamber, and orchestral stage. I began teaching seriously during my sophomore year, and quickly learned that I was dissatisfied with the existing teaching methods and set out to create my own. By my second year of teaching I had completed both a beginning and an intermediate book which I used with all of my students.
I was humbled but exuberant to be attending The Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland for my masters degree in flute performance under the delightful and profound Laurie Sokoloff. Her wise and confident outlook on music, life, and teaching freed me to develop my own ideas of where I wanted to go and who I wanted to become as a musician. I was enthralled by my surroundings in terms of the school itself as well as my colleagues. Seminar style classes focused on specific pieces or composers kept me excited and growing in my love for performing as well as discussing and appreciating music and musical culture. As I was finishing up coursework I did a major re-working of my teaching methods.
I moved to Charlottesville, Virginia after graduating with plans to settle down (for the time being) while finding my way outside of the world of academia. I had about a dozen students in Maryland at the Music & Arts in Laurel and so I began commuting back and forth once a week in June of 2010. I still do so, and my wonderful students and the supportive environment of the store makes it a joy rather than a burden. My studio grew steadily and in 2012 I decided to branch out and start teaching beginning piano students. I wanted to maintain my waning knowledge from lessons plus the two years of required piano work in undergraduate as well as extend my student base. I have found such joy in seeing a new set of students grow and learn on an instrument I appreciate so deeply, though I do not perform on it. I have also found that teaching piano has strengthened my flute teaching, and certainly the reverse is true as well.
In 2013 I gained the cherished honor of principal flute with the newly formed Hunt Valley Symphony Orchestra. This non-profit group with objectives to enrich the community and broaden the opportunities for music education has been a wonderful organization to belong to. Each week at rehearsal I feel my convictions about the purpose and importance of music deepen, and I am so grateful for this opportunity. I was given the great privilege of performing Mozart's Flute Concerto in G Major with the orchestra in November of 2015 - an absolute highlight of my life. I stepped down from the orchestra after three seasons to open paths to refreshed goals.
In the fall of 2016 one of my closest friends (Juliana Marin, soprano) and I gave a recital with Julie Bernstein, a classically trained pianist who is also a brilliant singer/songwriter. That concert entitled "As the Spring Sleeps…" along with Julie's event "A Night of Hope and Reconciliation" ignited a spark both Julie and I felt. We decided that one classical recital and epic collaborative event were simply not sufficient. In the spring of 2017 Julie and I gave another recital, "Dolce e Tristse" to benefit the Adult Learning Center of Charlottesville, a wonderful place where adults can learn English as well as study for the GED, etc. I had begun volunteering there in 2017 and giving a concert in their honor was a true privilege for me. Gave a concert in November of 2017 which SOLD OUT!! It was the absolute time of my life. Together we will explore the wonderful repertoire of flute and piano music as well as chamber music and collaborations outside of the classical realm. Stay up to date via the events page!
When I first set out to pursue higher education in music, I had a very narrow definition of "success." I have since come to take a piece of advice my high school band director repeated often to be resounding truth, "teachers should perform, and performers should teach." My own teaching voice along with the questions and insights of my students echo in my mind as I prepare for performances of my own, and with each performance I bow having more to offer my charges than I did before my stage entrance. The musical circle of life, if you will. Teaching is the garden and performances (both mine and my students') are its yield.
This section of the website would normally be reserved for a formal resume. However a musician is no more the sum of his or her resume than a piece of music is simply dots and lines on a page. Thank you for taking into account the journey and the person.