(B.M. Music, ’07)

I began taking piano lessons at age 8 and violin at 16. Coming from a large family with very limited resources, I worked my way through college, relying on my scholastic achievements for scholarships and long weekends at Wal-Mart to get by, but it was so worth it. I’ve had the opportunity to teach privately for more than a decade, perform as a regular member of the Manitowoc Symphony and Bella Musica (classical chamber music) for years, and work with organizations like MICHIBAGOMYSO, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, and currently Present Music, all because of my passion, determination, and education.

Official websites:

Bella Musica

The Artist’s Loft

Instruments:

I play both the piano and violin.

Notable collaborations:

I've had the privilege of performing with many great artists as a member of the Manitowoc Symphony, and in master classes as a pianist with Dr. Timothy Schorr and Frederick Moyer.

Influences/mentors:

My high school instructor, Sister Marion Verhaalen, SSSF, and college instructor, Dr. Eun Joo Kwak, had the most profound influence on my personal and professional development. I am indebted to them for giving me the education and care I needed to grow, and to pave my way in the world.

Favorite band/musician/composer:

It always changes. I’ve always had a weakness for Rachmaninoff and Ravel, but I’m loving the sounds of the Balconies and Milwaukee-natives The Belle Weather right now.

Favorite song:

I have a lot of favorites, but I think one that I always go back to is from the obscure Tissues and Issues album by Charlotte Church called “Finding My Own Way.”

Awards/honors:

 

  • Wal-Mart Associate Scholarship (2012)
  • Music department awards for highest GPA (2007 and 2008 for a graduating student)
  • Nomination into the Delta Epsilon Sigma National Scholastic Honor Society (2007)
  • Who’s Who of American College Students nomination and award (2006)
  • Adelaide F. Banaszynski Scholarship (2006)
  • Cardinal Stritch University Piano Performance Scholarship (2004)
  • Florence Marie Rossbach Scholarship (2000)


Earliest music memory:

We were unable to afford a piano when I was young, so my mother went out of her way to procure a free, old upright from my grade school that had been painted an awful brown color to hide scratches. I remember as a 7-year-old, sitting on the bench while my mom taught me my first song (“Heart and Soul,” of course!).

Memorable gigs:

One of my favorite performances was while playing Dvorak's 9th (New World) Symphony with the MSO. The piece is about an hour of solid playing. I remember being under the hot stage lights in a tiny, stuffy theater: trying to catch my breath, sweat dripping down my face and the faces of the instrumentalists around me, rosin dust and bows flying in the air, getting completely lost in the music. I remember being on such an adrenaline high, being one with the music.

Day job:

I am the audience development manager for Present Music in Milwaukee’s Third Ward. We engage artists and audiences in imaginative and provocative experiences with new music through ensemble performance, education and commissioning. We’re just beginning our 33rd year, and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with Milwaukee audiences!

Future goals:

I'm continuing to find opportunities to perform as a soloist and chamber musician because I love playing so much, and volunteering or teaching as much as possible. I taught keys at the Girls Rock Summer Camp this August and had an amazing experience!


Stritch music memories:

Oh, wow! I suppose now that I’m graduated I can share…I particularly remember having class at Starbucks several times, and eating sushi, picnic style…in the practice rooms…underneath the pianos…So sorry, Music Department! We kept it clean!

Ongoing Stritch connections:

I am still very much connected with my instructors in the music department and all the friends I’d gained while attending.