I am a jazz vocalist and singer-songwriter based in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.
I graduated from the University of Wyoming with my B.A. in music studying under pianist Dr. Ben Markley. vocalist Jenna Mclean, and Dr. Katrina Zook. While studying at UW I was the featured vocalist in the Wyoming Jazz Ensemble. You can listen to me sing with them on our record called Wind’s of The Snowys. In 2020 I was honored to have won a DownBeat Student Music Award for outstanding vocal solo for a song off of my debut album entitled 287 and I was recently awarded another DownBeat Student Music Award for my new single entitled “The Boss.” I am currently a graduate student at Temple University studying with Najwa Parkins.
I have been teaching for almost three years and one of my favorite things is seeing my students learn and grow.I want my students to love their instrument as much as I do and that’s why I strive to ensure that my students are enjoying themselves, enjoying the music they’re creating, all while being pushed to try new things. Lessons can focus on vocal technique, improvisation, music theory, aural and ear training, composition and songwriting, performance techniques and much more. My goal is to make sure that my students have all the tools that they will need in their toolbox in order to succeed!
When did you begin singing, and why?:
Like many vocalists I began singing at a very young age but I was very shy and getting up in front of a crowd of people was very scary for me. It wasn’t until high school where I broke out of my shell and started to seriously consider music as a career.
What other instruments do you play, and what is your experience with them?:
I play jazz piano mostly as a practice and compositional tool. I can also play guitar and can teach vocalists how to accompany themselves.
What are your personal goals as a musician?:
Since I am new to Philly my main goal is to meet and play with as many people as possible. You learn so much playing with other people and adapting to their style of playing. I also have a couple of recording projects I am working on and would love to release by the time I am done with graduate school.
Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked? Something you’ll remember forever?:
Guide tones! If you study with me I will probably talk about guide tones a lot.
What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?:
When I was learning to overcome hesitant singing one of my voice teachers said, “Lora, you are bigger than the notes on the page.” Interpret that however you want to but that has always stuck with me.
What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?:
It’s okay to make mistakes! It took me a long time to be okay with making mistakes and that was very challenging for me. Mistakes are part of the learning process!
What is your biggest musical achievement?:
I played a show at Chris’ Jazz Cafe recently where I met a lot of goals I have had for years. That was such a huge accomplishment for me. It wasn’t about awards or bio worthy stuff in that moment it was just about the music.
Favorite thing about teaching?:
My favorite thing about teaching is seeing a musical concept finally click. I literally shout for joy because I get so excited about it!
What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?:
Be patient! Learning a new skill takes time and the longer you keep at it the better you’ll become.
Personal music projects:
Check out my new single “The Boss.”