Hello dear friend, let me introduce myself. I'm a singer, songwriter and recording artist for Jesus. I write, record and perform for all ages.
Here's my story...
I've been singing ever since I was a kid. Growing up in New Jersey, I sang in school and church choirs. I also played the flute in school, church and regional orchestras. I got my first guitar for Christmas when I was 14 and taught myself how to play by listening to records my dad brought home.
During these formative years, and living across the river from New York City, I was under the direction of many amazing musicians. People from the NY Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera and the Juilliard School of Music all played a part in shaping my musical abilities. My parents hopped in the car and drove me everywhere to support my musical training. To my family and teachers I am deeply grateful, because at the time, I had no idea I would be a life long musician. Music was just something I did, it was fun.
I went to college as a music major but in my 2nd year I hit rock bottom personally. Many factors contributed to my deep depression and in the end I turned to God for help. From the bottom of my soul I cried out to Him. And on that cold, rainy day in January, He poured an abundance of sunshine into my lonely dorm room and lifted the heavy weight off my chest. In that life changing moment, I experienced the power and glory of God on a personal level. No longer was God just the topic of a Sunday morning sermon... suddenly He lived in my heart. From that moment on I was no longer depressed and I saw the world in a whole new way. THANK YOU LORD FOR SAVING ME!
After college I became a folksinger on the Greenwich Village circuit in New York City. I loved the excitement of singing in the exact places where my folksinging heroes got their start. Artists like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Judy Collins, to name a few. I began to grow as a solo artist and performer. During this time I recorded my first album of folk and light rock songs entitled Origins.
Eventually I grew tired of the drunks and the crazy late nights in the city so I switched to singing for children (they don't stay up late and they don't drink and smoke!). I sang in schools and libraries throughout New Jersey. I discovered 2 things as I sang for children. 1) They thrive on anything that triggers their imagination 2) they get bored quickly if the person in front of them isn't fun and interesting to watch. Unfortunately, I was neither imaginative or fun and interesting. HELP!
It's during this period in my life that I began to understand how prayer works. I knew I was supposed to be singing for kids but I could also see that I wasn't fully equipped. I was used to singing for adults in smoky bars and clubs. So I began to pray for those things I felt would make me a dynamic music teacher and musician. And the Lord provided 100%. Every day on my way to school I asked the Holy Spirit to animate me and to give me a sense of humor. And He did! I learned a lot about my relationship with God in those classrooms. And in response to ongoing requests from teachers and parents I recorded 2 children's CDs: Hot Diggity Dog 1 & 2.
How I received my call to focus on Christian music:
Married and with a family of my own, I moved to NY state. I continued my work as a children’s music specialist and began producing a live show based on my kids music. The Hot Diggity Dog Show was modeled after Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion and it became a real hit with local families. Our fun-loving cast of 6 professional musicians performed 4 times a year and the show was broadcast live on the internet. As the show gained in popularity I began to make plans to apply for grants to increase our visibility. It's during these exciting times that I received my call from the Lord.
Here’s how it happened...
One day during my prayer time I found myself telling Jesus that I would do anything He wanted for His Kingdom. He immediately spoke to me and said, “I want you to write songs about Me.”
What ??? Did I just hear the voice of Jesus or was someone else in the room with me ??? I opened my eyes and looked around...no one else was there. HOLY CANNOLI !!! It was really Him !!!
I was shocked and amazed that Jesus would speak to me personally. I thought that only happened to people in the bible. As I began to process what had just happened I felt completely honored to be given such an awesome assignment. And from the King of Kings, no less!
The crazy thing about this story is that you'd think I would respond to Jesus with something appropriate like, "Wow...Thank you Lord !! I would be honored to serve you as a songwriter !!" But instead, this is what I blurted out...
"What about Hot Diggity Dog"?
He didn't answer.
I was elated but at the same time totally confused. The Hot Diggity Dog show was very popular and we had worked so hard to get it off the ground. I had a burning passion to get the show to it's next level and I couldn't wrap my mind around the possibility that God would just want me to abandon it. I cried about it and counseled with my pastor and friends. They encouraged me to continue praying and reminded me that The Lord would make everything clear as I obeyed and walked in a new direction. As I prayed and journaled, He gradually made everything clear. He directed me to take a year's sabbatical from the show and focus on writing and recording for Him.
So I did. Leaving the show was difficult even though I knew it was what God wanted. In the end I can see this was an example of what I wanted vs. what God wanted. Sometimes the right thing to do is the hardest thing to do.
Eventually the show disbanded but my friendship with the cast continues to this day.
A New Season:
To respond to the Lord's call I needed to make decisions on how I used my time, talents and treasures. Still raising a family, I especially needed to learn how to be more disciplined with my time so I could write and record. Again, I turned to prayer. I knew I needed God's help in making these lifestyle changes.
Eventually I built a recording studio in our home and with my then-husband on piano, a 7 piece rhythm section and horns, I recorded my first gospel CD Get Ready Now. It was an amazing experience...pretty much like having a baby. Wow...my first album for the Lord!
I'll never forget those years of striving, praying and seeing God manifest His Will. He provided in so many ways. I learned how to receive His guidance on everything involved in the recording process: technical details with the equipment, decisions on hiring musicians, decisions on mixing. You name it, He led me through the entire process. Popular singles from this CD are In Return, The Gifts and Just One Man.
Next I recorded a children’s CD Shake It Up for Jesus! on which I programed all the midi instruments. With a midi controller I played the harp (For Flowers) and even an 80 piece marching band! (God Made the Trees). This album was a lot of fun to make.
A few years later, getting back to my folk roots, I recorded the acoustic EP The Higher Road. Fan favorites from this CD are: If Jesus Was the President, The Higher Road, The Upper Room and All Because of Grace.
In this new season of serving Christ, everything I do is bathed in prayer. The Lord is faithful beyond all measure and I never cease to be amazed at how He provides.
Besides writing and recording, I sing at concerts, coffeehouses and conferences. I give musical sermons at local churches (20-30 minute segments that combine my music with personal testimony). I’m the song and worship leader on a regular basis for two area churches and am a joyful member of the praise band at my home church. I’ve also been privileged to be the music director for Tres Dias (a 3 day Christian conference) and Vida Nueva (a 2 day Christian intensive for teens).
I’m an alumni of Ithaca College School of Music and I teach private lessons on piano, guitar and flute. I’m the proud mom of one son and live in New York State, USA.