Background & Expertise
DIRECTOR AND FEATURED ARTIST, GRACE CONCERT SERIES,
2018 - ongoing
In 2018, I founded a concert series with mezzo-soprano Madonna Byrkeland at Grace Baptist Church to provide another outlet to showcase professional musical talent and to raise money for charitable causes. 100% of donations have been contributed to non-profit organizations including: Lift Up Ukraine, Side by Side, the Virginia Holocaust Museum, ReEstablish Richmond, Hurricane Dorian relief in the Bahamas, Earthquake relief in Puerto Rico, Children Incorporated, and CARITAS. Past programs have featured creative arrangements of gospel hymns and spirituals and popular Gershwin songs, four-hand piano works, 19th-20th century American chamber music, French chamber music, music that honored the lives of Jewish composers and musicians lost to the Holocaust, Scots and Irish folk music, new music by women composers, original jazz arrangements of Advent and Christmas music, and the list goes on.
PIANIST AND ORGANIST, GRACE BAPTIST CHURCH, RICHMOND, VA
2016 - ongoing
Every week, music flows through the sanctuary of Grace Baptist Church. Music director, Rev. Chris Crowley, leads the choir in wonderful anthems that showcase the diversity in choral repertoire. I carefully select and perform musical offerings that complement the tone of each service. It has become one of my greatest joys to provide music for others during times of uplifting joy and spiritual reflection. During the pandemic, I recorded daily musical offerings which are still available on the GBC Facebook page.
ADJUNCT PROFESSOR OF MUSIC,
UNIVERSITY OF MARY WASHINGTON, FREDERICKSBURG, VA
2015 - 2019
I have taught undergraduate music courses including piano, music history (Western art music), popular music studies, and musics of the world, and I have worked to bring guest artists into the classroom to enrich my students' learning experience. These artists have included the Bulgarian Kaynak Pipers Band, Indonesian keroncong and gamelan artist Danis Sugiyanto with Indonesian music scholar, Hannah Standiford, Turkish saz musician Latif Bolat with whirling dervish Serap Yilmaz, Japanese folk musician Minae Uehara, and members of UMW's Indian Music Ensemble. I have also mentored students with senior projects and independent research seminars. This has been as much of a wonderful learning experience for me as it has been for my students.
YOGA, BARRE, PILATES INSTRUCTOR, FREELANCE, RICHMOND, VA
2015 - ongoing
Yoga has been a part of my life since childhood. In the last decade, I have been able to deepen my practice, and I have become inspired to lead others, promoting mindfulness as a way of life. I teach a mixed-level practice that encourages people of all backgrounds to embrace a yoga practice that works for them. In addition, I teach a barre practice that focuses on all around toning and strengthening. (Certifications in: YogaFit, ISCA Mat Pilates, and Barre Above.)
PRIVATE PIANO TEACHER, RICHMOND, VA
I have taught private piano lessons from my home studio to students of all ages and experiences. This has included organizing recitals for them to showcase their work. It is an absolute joy to nurture musical knowledge, ability, and passion in others!
2004 - ongoing
PHD MUSICOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH, UK
With a focus on ethnomusicology, my doctoral research explored popular music practices and youth identity in post-revolutionary Iran and its diaspora, under the supervision of musicologist Elaine Kelly, sociologist Simon Frith, and Persian/Arabic studies scholar Kamran Rastegar. This was a highly interdisciplinary project, branching out into areas of Persian studies, anthropology, cultural studies, religion, history, and politics.
MMUS WITH DISTINCTION, UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH, UK
During this master of music degree program, I explored a variety of musicological research projects related to gender studies before choosing to focus my masters thesis on an ethnomusicological study of pre-revolutionary female singers in late 19th century and early 20th century Persia.
BA MUSIC, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA
While pursuing this musicology and performance based degree, I focused on piano performance in solo and chamber music capacities, studying under pianists Mimi Tung and George Francois.
BS ARCHITECTURE, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA
This design degree helped me broaden my creativity and knowledge of the design world, including graphic design. This degree allowed me to build a strong work ethic and a keen eye for design, especially while multi-tasking, which has remained with me to this day.
ASSOCIATES OF ARTS AND SCIENCES,
WHATCOM COMMUNITY COLLEGE, BELLINGHAM, WA
In my last two years of high school, I attended community college as part of Washington state's Running Start program. I was able to graduate from high school and earn a two-year college degree at the same time. I had some of my best professors here, who pushed me and taught me to think critically for myself. Without this education and my transfer credits, I would not have been able to pursue dual degrees in both architecture and music at U.Va.