There's something to be said for being raised in a part of the world so far removed from the rest of civilization that people say God doesn't even live there. Yep. That's my hometown,Warroad, MN. It's known as hockeytown U.S.A and is home to more Olympic hockey athletes per capita than any other place in the country. Its also home to Marvin Windows, cyclical infestations of tent caterpillars, annual infestations of fish flies, and a whole host of people committed to one other. They have to be or the insects would win.
It's there that my mother handed me a piano book, instructing me to learn as much as I could in order to discover if my desire to learn how to play piano was a just a passing fad. I figured out the correlation between the notes on the page and the keys on the keyboard and I was off. It turns out I really did want to learn how to play the piano and sorta had a knack for it. Before I even took my first lesson, I was playing four-part hymns and accompanying the congregation - at the age of eight.
In college, I determined to go into business and enjoy the piano as a hobby, but even the best of intentions can lead us somewhere we never expected. I eventually graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a Bachelor of Music in Applied Piano. I studied with Dr. Ann Nadeau Britton and Dr. David Viscoli. I found a love of jazz in college and spent as much time as I could listening and learning.
After college, it took me a few years to find my place, but I eventually landed in Southeast Minnesota.
In 2011, I began writing my own music, and in 2012, after enthusiastic encouragement from friends, I decided to record some of these songs.
My first album came together at the Library Recording Studio in Minneapolis where I worked with producer/engineer, Matt Patrick (Sara Groves, Jason Gray, Jeremy Messersmith, Vicky Emerson). To fund the album, I raised over $10,000 via Kickstarter. I was, and continue to be, amazed at the outpouring of support from family and friends. My EP, "Dragonflies" was released on Sept 24, 2013.
Music and words are my passion, and it's through music that I strive to be a positive presence in people's lives. In order to live that out, I'm working on The Worthy People Project, a multi-media storybook in which I tell the stories of people who find themselves in the muck, mire and margins of life. In 2014, I began a program at the Olmsted County Jail called "Your Story / Your Song" in which I meet one-on-one with a detainee and process through their story through the writing process (on my blog you will find posts relating to this work with the tag "Jailhouse Session." In some cases, I'm able to take their story and tell it through a song. Some of these songs, and their stories, will be a part of forthcoming Worthy People Project. I also perform regularly at the bedside of patient's in various units across the Mayo Clinic Hospitals, Rochester Campus.
I am a wife and mother to three and in my spare time I try to get better at things like growing food, cooking food and drinking wine. Oh, and I also serve as the Worship Arts Minister at NewDay Church in Rochester, MN.