Winter Review

Spring is right around the corner, and I have some big news to share about the upcoming months, but first I wanted to catch everyone up on how I spent my winter. For me, winter tends to be about resting, planning, and preparing for the rest of the year. I always have this fear that I'm not doing enough during those winter months, but as soon as March rolls around, I realize it's just the calm before the storm. :)

Dec 4: Ohio Music Award

My single El Scorcho brought home the 2016 Ohio Music Award for Best Cover Song! It's now sitting happily beside its sister 2014 OMA for "One Little Song."

Dec 9: Peoples Bank Theatre Gala

I was so honored to sing in the one-year anniversary gala for our beautiful Peoples Bank Theatre! Once again, Scott Kitchen did a great job leading the house band with guest singers from around the region. So proud of the PBT and all of the people who have made it a success!

Jan 7: Guest Blog

Our great local music zine Hold the Note featured me as guest blogger on the topic of keeping your voice healthy in the wintertime.

Feb 20-24: American Traditions Competition

I had a great week in Savannah competing and hanging out with 27 great singers from across America in the American Traditions Competition. My journey ended at the quarterfinals, but I enjoyed listening to such wonderful voices all week. Hearing Andrew Lippa in the judges' concert Monday evening was a particular treat.

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A unique feature of the competition is the opportunity to stay with a host family. I fell head over heels in love with mine. Quick-witted Wellesley girls Carol and Liz kept me and fellow contestant Missy Wise (winner of the 2016 NATS Musical Theatre Competition) in stitches. Sweet Ali was the definition of a gentle-man. They made sure our bellies and our wine glasses were always full. They have lived the most amazing and fascinating lives, which could easily have filled every conversation, but they kept the focus on me and Missy, showing genuine interest in our lives and making us feel supported and cared for the entire week. I couldn't have asked for more. 

Many of you have asked about what my song selections looked like. We had to choose 9 songs in 9 different categories/genres and space them over three rounds of competition. Here was my program:

  • Quarterfinals
    • Jazz: Quiet Whiskey (Wynonie Harris)
    • Johnny Mercer: Autumn Leaves (Johnny Mercer/Joseph Kosma)
    • Country/Folk: One Little Song (Gillian Welch)
  • Semifinals
    • Gospel: Road Trip (Kirk Franklin)
    • Blues: Crossroads Blues (Robert Johnson)
    • Hollywood: Go the Distance from Hercules (Alan Menken/David Zippel)
  • Finals
    • Pop/Rock: Best of My Love (Maurice White/Al McKay)
    • Cover Song: Over the Rainbow (Harold Arlen/E.Y. Harburg/arr. Baldwin)
    • Musical Theatre: Don't Rain on My Parade from Funny Girl (Jule Styne/Bob Merrill)

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Feb 23: On the Radio

I was so honored to have my cover of John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy" on WV Public Radio in February! Thanks to host Jim Lange for putting it on his wonderful show Eclectopia. And thanks again to Ryan Kennedy, Paul Flaherty, and Andy Hall for making it happen.

Mar 3: West Virginia Music Educators Association Conference

I led a workshop for choir directors on helping singers be more versatile. We had a great time making some crazy sounds together. I really love working with teachers! They're so passionate about learning and helping their students.

Mar 6: Show Choir Workshop

Had a great morning coaching singers in Ravenswood's Rave Revue Show Choir. We worked on getting more power and energy into their bodies and their sound. They won 1st place in their class the following weekend! Congrats Rave Revue!

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Spring is almost here!

Like I said, there are some really exciting things coming in the next few months, so stay tuned! Click here to subscribe to the blog!

And the award goes to...

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"One Little Song" for Best Cover Song in the 2015 Ohio Music Awards!

The OMA's are chosen by a panel of judges from the music industry in Ohio. The founders wanted to help build the music community in Ohio and give artists a judge-based competition as an alternative to the many fan-voting-based competitions that are available. Previous winners include MOV native Anthony Mossburg.

See the rest of the winners here.

Here's the tune that won the award:

American Traditions Competition 2015

I'm excited to announce that I'm a contestant in the 2015 American Traditions Competition! The competition pays tribute to the diverse music in our American heritage. I haven't participated in a competition since grad school, but the unique nature of the competition made me want to give it a go. I wanted to meet and listen to more people like me who love singing different genres of music. 

At the competition, contestants sing in up to three rounds. In each round, we sing a set of three songs. Each of our nine songs must be in a different genre selected from the list of genres provided by the ATC. Our application had to include recordings of the first round set. 

The competition will be in beautiful Savannah, Georgia in late February. I've never been to Savannah, so I'm just as excited about experiencing that town as I am about singing my tunes. The competition rounds are open to the public, so if you're in the Savannah area, I'd love to see you there.