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I grew up in Northeastern Ohio. I loved classical music as a child, took piano lessons from the age of eight, and soon afterward began to compose songs and simple piano tunes. However, I stopped writing when I was eleven, perceiving suddenly that all the lovely, complex music I enjoyed seemed to have been written by old dead men. I was neither dead nor a man; and I had no idea that one could actually learn to compose sophisticated music. I figured that Mozart and Brahms were born knowing what to do. (In Mozart's case, that actually may have been true.)  I played oboe in high school, but was not encouraged to pursue the study of music.  I attended Thiel College for one year, and transferred to Ohio University, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

I have lived in the Hudson Valley of New York for all of my adult life. I am a shy performer, and my music life (until recently) has consisted mostly of playing recorders and harpsichord with the Collegium Musicum at the local State University of New York at New Paltz, which I joined when my daughter was five.  When my son was in fifth grade at a small, progressive school (read: use the talents of the parents), his teacher (knowing only that I was a decent recorder player) asked me if I could write a musical based on the Big Bang theory of creation. (Talk about a leap of faith…) I told her that I would try, and then found out that I could! Working with the children's original lyrics, we created a work (entitled, of course, The Big Bang) scored for children’s chorus, one flute, one trumpet, one saxophone, and piano. It sounded good, the kids and I enjoyed ourselves immensely, and my career as a composer was reborn! The following year we wrote a musical called The Greek Gods.  These two works, composed when I was in my late forties, comprise what I might term my ‘juvenilia,’ in addition to the lost works of my childhood.

When my son graduated to a different school, I feared that my composition career was once again about to come to an abrupt end. However, encouraged by musical friends, I returned to college and began formally studying composition. I received a B.A. in Music Theory and Composition from the
State University of New York at New Paltz, where I studied with Dr. Ping Jin, the kindest of teachers. I also studied jazz theory with pianist Vinnie Martucci.

My choral works have been performed by the SUNY New Paltz Concert Choir, directed by Dr. Edward Lundergan, the SUNY New Paltz College-Youth Symphony, directed by Dr. Carole Cowan. My music has been commissioned and performed by Kairos: A Consort of Singers, directed by Dr. Edward Lundergan, and the choir of Christ Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., directed by Dr. Laura Ramsey Russell. My music has also been commissioned by oboist Joel Evans and featured by the Pone Ensemble, a professional venue for 20th and 21st century music, based in New Paltz, New York as well as by cellist Susan Seligam.  My song cycle, The Thing With Feathers, based on poems of Emily Dickinson, was selected as part of the Women Composers' Showcase at New Jersey City University in 2003. I have had works performed in New Paltz, New York; Beacon, New York; Poughkeepsie, New York; Cornwall, New York; New York City; Jersey City, New Jersey; and Birmingham, England.

Musical Performance

I sing with several vocal groups in the Hudson Valley area: The SUNY New Paltz College/Community Chorale, The Hudson Valley Bachfest Choir, and the Bardavon Opera Chorus. Very occasionally I play my compositions on the piano.  I also play recorder, krumhorn and harpsichord with various early music ensembles.

Recent Works

Mood Swings, for 4-part chorus (2016)
Creatures, for 4-part chorus with piano (2015)
Merry Notes,
for 4-part chorus with piano (2014)
, song cycle for a cappella chamber choir (2005)
Seasons, for concert choir and piano (2005)
Acadia, for oboe, viola and piano (2005)
Peace Is More, for SSAA (2004) and SATB (2005)
Fancy's Knell, for vocal trio (2004)
Wedding Suite, for cello, piano and handbells (2004)
Bagatelle, for string quartet (2004)
Cove Beach, for concert choir and piano or orchestra (2004)
Irae Variae, for oboe, cello and piano (2003)
Private Menagerie, for soprano, tenor, cello and piano (2002)
Nocturne, for concert choir and piano (2001)
The Thing With Feathers, for alto, tenor and piano (2000)

Other Interests

Since January 2002, I have been standing in weekly vigil with the New Paltz chapter of the international organization Women in Black. I often attend rallies and demonstrations to try to raise awareness of peace and social justice issues. My anti-war song Invocation for Women in Black was sung by the New York Labor Chorus at Town Hall in Manhattan. Another anti-war song, Peace is More, was performed by the female a capella group, Vocé.

I am involved with whatever passes for reason in the face of our imminent national emergency – I’m referring to the authoritarian orders and proclamations issuing from the pen and mouth of the person who won the electoral vote, pResident tRump. My family marched in Washington, I continue to stand with Women in Black, I make phone calls and write letters; and I wonder what will be enough and what is effective. I continue to hope for justice and peace in our country and the world. I support the inclusion of immigrants and refugees into our country. I stand with the Black Lives Matter vigil which demonstrates in New Paltz twice a month.

I wear a pink hat. It helps me cope.

I am on the board of directors of the Poné Ensemble for New Music, dedicated to the performance of 20th and 21st century chamber music.

I am the recording secretary for the curriculum committee of the SUNY New Paltz Lifetime Learning Institute (LLI), an all-volunteer organization which provides educational and social opportunities for older adults. LLI is a fine organization with a really varied offering of classes, and you can be as involved as you like. Here’s that website: (There is a picture of the curriculum committee on the front of the most recent catalog. I’m the one ‘way back in the center of that picture, laughing and writing.)