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About Donna

I showed a love for the piano as a young child, often picking out songs and tunes by ear.  My first piano lessons (age 9) fascinated me as my teacher showed me the C Major scale, and how you could go up and down the keyboard, even hands together. The sound was “WOW!!” and I was hooked.  


After 3-4 years of lessons, I was playing entire Beethoven Sonatas.  It amazed me how practicing could help your fingers do anything; it was a delightful game of sounds, patterns and finger acrobatics.  I also started playing hymns for church, and sang in school choirs and participated in talent shows.  


The first time I ever realized I could do something special was in the 8th grade, when I played the full piano version of ‘Malaguena’ in a talent show.  I thought it was fun and was fully engrossed in the spectacular sounds that came out of the piano.  When I was finished, I was shocked at the raucous applause that roared toward me. What an awakening to how I could convey emotions and power through my music.

During high school I sang in a cappella and madrigal choirs (as well as being the accompanist); and was the piano ‘orchestra’ for all of the Broadway musicals that were performed by the music and drama departments.  

I also started my ‘professional’ career by becoming a paid church organist (which helped me earn enough money to buy my first car).  I continued on my chosen path by attending California State University, Sacramento, earning a B.A. in music, specializing in keyboard performance (including piano, harpsichord and pipe organ), as well as accompanying and singing. 

 

The next 25 years were totally dedicated to my professional music career, encompassing many different aspects:

  • Singing with and accompanying the most prominent choral and madrigal groups in area

  • Orchestra and rehearsal pianist for summer-season Broadway musicals - a new one every week

  • Private accompanist for many professional performers throughout Central California

  • Contracted by public schools to create music/singing programs for elementary schools

  • Piano instructor in my home studio, providing lessons for up to 50+ students per week

  • Professional organist at many of the city’s largest churches, such as Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Christian Science, Greek Orthodox, and Catholic

  • Staff accompanist for Sacramento State University music department

  • Played for hundreds of weddings, and private party engagements

Being organist for the Sacramento Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament was a highlight of my career.  The festival choir had the honor of performing concerts in the great Cathedrals of France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, including Notre Dame, Chatres, St. Peter’s Basilica (the Vatican), among others in Lisbon, Seville, Barcelona, and Madrid.

I was the organist for high mass with our choir at Notre Dame. Our music moved the parishioners to a standing applause, and I was honored to be personally invited back to play again at another time in the future.  I was particularly blessed to have received the attentiveness and best wishes personally from Pope John Paul II following a Mass at his private residence outside of Rome.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Shortly after these tours, I took a hiatus from music when my husband and I moved to the Rogue Valley, where I devoted most of my time participating in his construction and contracting business.  Though my music endeavors were somewhat reduced, I still maintained a few piano students, played for Easter brunch at the Ashland Springs Hotel, accompanied a few professionals in the area, and helped develop a youth choir.  

Following my husband’s passing, I am now returning to my love of music and my passion for teaching piano, and can once again share my gifts.  I eagerly anticipate connecting with students and music lovers here in the Rogue Valley, as music really does make a difference in all our lives.

St. Peter's Basilica

The Vatican

With

Pope John II

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