I’m a concert pianist and music professor. I love performing and teaching: I feel incredibly lucky that I get to do both, and that I learn so much about each from the other.
I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. While in high school I studied with Evelyne Brancart at the University of New Mexico. For college I went to Oberlin, where I studied with Joseph Schwartz in the conservatory and majored in English in the college. For grad school I went to Eastman, where I did the MM and DMA with Rebecca Penneys. I also got an MA in pedagogy of music theory so I could take all the fun theory classes, including Schenker and counterpoint and composition. After Eastman I freelanced in New York City, teaching privately, as an adjunct, and accompanying in the vocal program at the Juilliard School, and then I came to the Sunderman Conservatory at Gettysburg College, where I’ve been the piano professor since 2004. I’ve also taught a few other places, including the Hochstein Music School, Fort Lewis College, and Paraguay on a Fulbright in the summer of 2008. Along the way I've also explored training in theatre, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, the Alexander Technique, and mindfulness meditation. I’ve recently started taking lessons with Madeline Bruser, learning her Art of Practicing teaching techniques. Starting in the summer of 2019 I am teaming up with my good friend and amazing colleague Vivian Chang Freiheit to lead the Sunderman Piano Institute.
As a musician, I’m omnivorous; there’s such a vast, rich literature for piano, and it’s inspiring and humbling that I’ll never be able to play all of it. Along with the old masters, I love working with composers and playing new music, including—just recently—improvising my own. I enjoy playing both solo and chamber music. In the past few years I’ve gotten interested in historical instruments, from improvising accompaniments on the harpsichord to exploring pedaling and articulation on pianos from different periods. I recorded the complete Chopin etudes on an 1841 Paris Erard piano, tuned to a historical temperament. I also have a couple of musical projects on the side: I'm an enthusiastic choir alto, and I spent a few years in the indie folky rock band Gettysburg Pirate Orchestra, on vocals, accordion, and occasionally electric bass. For the past few years I've been learning—and writing songs on—the ukulele.
You can hear me play and talk about my practice process in my podcast, Play It Again Swig.