I had always wanted to play harp since the age of 8 but my Grandmother and Mother kept enrolling me in lessons for everything but. I began a long series of studying different musical instruments including the piano, violin, mandolin and flute. In one of my more discouraging lessons with a flute teacher I told him I really wanted to play the harp. He jumped on that and called Jackie Bartlett, the principal harpist with the North Carolina symphony at the time, and she called my Mom and offered to give me a free introductory lesson.
I finally got to take my harp lessons at age seventeen, and it was as if I'd been playing it all my life! So I went off to study harp with Patricia Pence Sokoloff at the North Carolina school of the Arts where I graduated with a bachelor of music in harp performance.
It was always my intent to play traditional music of the British Isles, especially Scotland, where most of my family came from. But, at that time, my only option was classical harp. In my senior year of college I started to study traditional Scottish music on my own and realized that the North Carolina Old Time and Appalachian music I learned back in grade school was pretty much right out of the Scottish tradition brought here by Scottish immigrants like my ancestors. The music I write now is highly influenced by Scottish traditional music with it's syncopated rhythms. There are also classical, jazz, rock, and world folk music influences.
Working with Belles on Strings and my friends, Jennifer and Tracey, is a true delight. They are fun-loving, creative musicians who are always ready to experiment with new sounds while holding on to their traditional roots.