I have always been curious about music. The first songs I ever played, I learned when I was 10 years old from the pre-loaded demo songs on a toy keyboard my parents bought for me. My first ever internet searches resulted in locating the sheet music to Fur Elise and The Star Spangled Banner. And not long after this, I entered the sixth grade band – where my middle school directors placed me on the trumpet, because in their words – “she has big lips, straight teeth and won’t need braces.” Little did I know, that seemingly simple decision would determine a lot about my life as a musician.
Playing the trumpet has literally taken me all over the country, funded most of my college education and provided an incredible network and community. I attended the University of Texas at Arlington from 2003-2008, where I spent ten consecutive semesters as a member of the Jazz Orchestra, and is where I met my husband, Jonathan Woodrow. I developed an increasing interest for composing and arranging at UTA, thanks in large part to several encouraging teachers and the availability of high-quality ensembles.
At 21 years old, I was hired as the Orchestra Director at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, TX. There, I began for the first time significantly contributing as an arranger to music designed to enable corporate worship of our great God. After seven years of employment and writing around 500 arrangements, I went back to school to earn my Master’s in Composition at Texas Christian University. TCU is a wonderfully supportive education environment, and I attribute my early successes as a composer largely to this generous community. Today I am a full-time, freelancing professional musician – and am exceedingly thankful for the many individuals who have invested in me along the way!