I began studying classical guitar at age four and wrote my first musical, based on Rip Van Winkle, in high school. I grew up in Connecticut and attended Hartt School of Music in Hartford, then Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. I ultimately got a BA in Philosophy from the University of Cincinnati, a JD from Georgetown University, and a day job as a federal government lawyer in Washington, DC. Yet, I never stopped pursuing my passion: writing tunes like the Tin Pan Alley songs my father played for me as a child.
In 2005, having finally turned a corner in a life-long battle with suicidal depression, I wrote “Wooing the Lorelei,” a one-woman show about unrequited lesbian love, which I performed at Twins Jazz in Washington, DC. Just as I finished recording a CD based on the show, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Two years later, I developed a brain tumor. Thankfully, I am now tumor-free, and at relative peace with my demons. However, brain surgery left me with severe migraines that restrict my activities.
As a form of occupational therapy, I decided to take a stab at another musical. It took a while, but eventually AVA emerged. Now, I write whenever I can, and I volunteer every Thursday at a soup kitchen.