Hello! I am thrilled to be the Director of Music at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. I love to sing, play the piano and worship our risen savior through all kinds of music! I am a life-long Lutheran, Lutheran from conception I like to say, having been baptized as an infant at Ascension Lutheran Church in Los Angeles. Even as a small child, I felt the great love of Jesus through my parents and extended family along with my church family. Pastor, Sunday School teachers and even choir members my dad sang with showed me the love of Jesus through their love, care and concern for me, a child of God.
My faith was nurtured through Lutheran education, kindergarten through college where I learned to let my light shine and share the good news of God's great love for us through Jesus Christ. And what better way to do that then through music! My first piano teacher when I was 6 years old was Mrs. Anderson, the choir director at our new church in Tustin, California. I sang in the children's choir, school chorus at Red Hill Lutheran School and even began accompanying choirs in the 4th grade - the same year I started clarinet! I learned handbells in 6th grade and continued to be involved in all aspects of music at church and at Lutheran High School of Orange County. I met my husband Mark at Lutheran High - yes, in choir and we have been making beautiful music together since 1986!
I attended California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks and earned a Bachelors in Liberal Studies with a music minor. I hold Multiple Subject Clear Credential with a music supplemental and have taught elementary music over 25 years. While at Cal Lutheran I was president of the choir, accompanist, section leader and soloist. Our annual tours took us throughout California, Nevada and Arizona including a stop in Auburn back in 1984. Yes, I sang in the sanctuary as college senior on choir tour!
Directing choirs of all ages is one of my great joys. All children of God, from age 3 to 103, can lift their voice in praise. Leading the "Big Choir" - the congregation - from the piano or organ bench is a big thrill for me. I have had wonderful opportunities to serve God in a variety of worship styles, congregations large and small, and from coast to coast. After serving for many years at my home congregation, life changes took Mark and I to rural Minnesota where I served in Lutheran and Catholic churches while teaching music. Then we were off to Virginia where I served at the largest church and school in the Virginia Synod for 11 years. Family needed us back home in California in 2012 as my mother-in-law was facing a significant health crisis. We left Virginia and drove the moving van across country - no jobs to come to and no car, but we were blessed to have a home provided for us by dear friends as long as we needed it. We prayed big that God would provide and He did. A car was provided, we gained employment and we were able to be a physical and emotional support for my mother-in-law in the last 5 years of her life. This was one of our greatest blessings and a move we will never regret.
God provided again in 2020 when I was let go from my teaching job as COVID appeared. Mark and I moved to Roseville in August of 2020 for my new music job with Marysville Unified School District while doing virtual worship for our church in Temecula. And now I can use my gifts and talents in worship at Bethlehem! When I'm not making music or teaching music, I love to watch movies, especially musicals, go to the theatre and play at the theatre for musicals! I have played for over 20 shows with Community Theatre - it's great to be in the pit! I enjoy needlework when I have time and Mark and I love to travel, especially to be with family and friends across the country and in Canada. We are really enjoying getting to know Northern California and love Auburn - we even vacationed here many years ago!
I look forward to getting to know everyone at Bethlehem and making a joyful noise together in praise to our risen savior.