I have dedicated my life to the pursuit of beauty through creation as an artist of eclectic tastes, talents, and interests. I believe in art's ability to transcend gender, race, religion, culture, language, and so much more. We are all creators. The arts are a birthright, an undeniable outlet for self-expression, and an instiller of self-confidence and self-worth.
As a violist, I have been a member of Disney’s Encore! Cast, Choir and Orchestra, the Florida Youth Symphony Orchestra, Ottumwa Symphony, Oskaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Space Coast Symphony, Iowa Bach Festival Orchestra, and the CMU Graduate String Quartet. In my most recent collaborative venture, I have formed a blossoming working relationship with contemporary pianist-composer, David M. Fisher, who has written several works for me and with whom I frequently perform.
Recent master-classes include those with the Mivos String Quartet, St. Lawrence String Quartet, Dr. Alicia Valoti, Dr. Wee-Hsin Tan, Dr. Istvan Szabo, Dr. Juliet White Smith, and David Holland. In the summer of 2016 I performed as a Miami Music Festival Opera Orchestra & Conducting Ensemble Fellow. While in Miami, I was honored to perform at the New World Center, home to the New World Symphony Orchestra. The highlight of the season featured a substantial collaboration with MMF's Wagner Institute and world renowned dramatic soprano Christine Goerke, and bass-baritone Alan Held to perform Act III of Wagner's "Die Walküre." In the summer of 2017 I will be participating in the Saarburg International Music Festival and School in Germany.
In the endeavor to grow as an artist and scholar, I have also pursued studies in jazz performance and theory with John Rapson, Japanese language/culture, and poetry/poetics with members of the renowned Iowa Writer's Workshop and UI English Department. An aspiring poet, I have completed a book-length collection ("Lies") and several chapbook length works ("Caught," "Thinking," "More Lies," and "The Happiest Place on Earth"). I am a fervent advocate for multi-disciplinary collaboration, believing that poetry at its best is a performative, dramatic art. I have gone on to produce works with fellow artists that combine text, music, dance, and/or visual mediums. My hobbies include finding the FUN in viola playing, listening to Mahler symphonies, swooning over Shostakovich, dramatic poetry reading, excessive coffee drinking, and swimming.
I first began private violin and viola studies with Deborah Dansby-Wells at the age of fourteen and graduated from the Visual & Performing Arts Program at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, FL in 2010 with honors. I received my B.A. in Music as a student of Christine Rutledge and my B.A. in English with honors from the University of Iowa. Most significantly, I obtained my M.M. in Viola Performance as renowned viola pedagogue David Holland's graduate assistant at Central Michigan University, graduating summa cum laude. My awards include the DPHS Outstanding Musicianship Award, the Antoine Smith Memorial Orchestral Service Award, three CLAS Academic Excellence awards, and an Iowa Center for the Arts grant. My first journal article, “This Is Not a Toy: An Introduction to AVS’ Health and Wellness Column” will be published in the spring 2017 issue of the American Viola Society Journal.