Every step I have taken to move forward as an artist has been accompanied by music. Music was my only release growing up in West Virginia in an extremely religious household surrounded by stifling doctrine that spoke about everything we couldn't do, but failed to mention the possibilities in life. Taking a leap of faith 7 years ago, I moved to New York City to pursue a career as a composer and music director in musical theatre.
Transitioning soon after moving,I began the journey from living life perceived as a man to living authentically as myself: a strong, resilient, artistic woman. This has given me a unique worldview – understanding the privileges men are afforded in the music industry while seeing firsthand the lack of parity for women.As an openly transgender composer, I believe in the power of music to open hearts and change the world. With the recent challenges the industry has faced, given the social unrest and pandemic, it’s more important than ever to amplify voices of the traditionally marginalized – a core mission of my work. As artists, we have to recognize the change we want to see and have a responsibility to enact that change.
I’ve been fortunate enough to emerge over the past year as a leader who happens to identify within the TGNC community. After I was awarded the inaugural artist fellowship as a writer with NYMF in 2019 premiering my song cycle Finding Beautiful, I was able to bring a voice to the TGNC community that didn’t exist before. Since, I have taught workshops on inclusivity and working with TGNC talent, currently serve as the resident music director for Trans Voices Trans Cabaret, serve on the DEIA Committee of Maestra Music, and founded the Phoenix Trans Chorus of NYC. I’m also a vocal advocate in support of education for underserved youth, and work with Broadway for Arts Education (BAE) to inspire young minds to be creative.
Through the pandemic, I have written a six-movement piece for symphony and piano, “A New York Renaissance" in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am currently writing two full-length musicals: REIGN, a rock opera inspired by Christopher Marlow'e's Edward II (with Will Shishmanian), and Footprints in the Sand, an original musical about finding love in unlikely places. Both musicals feature diverse casts in leading roles, as representation is vitally important. Now more than ever it is important we are giving voice to the voices that haven't been heard on our stages, and I hope to be an artist that inspires change and challenges humanity to think about how we can leave the world a better place than we found it.