Music is an integral part of the services at WUUC. Featuring performances by our musicians, our choir, and guest performers--the music choices can sometimes inspire, sometimes bring joy or even melancholy. But one thing's for sure: the music at Westside will always make you think.
Meet Westside's Music Department
Choir Director & Music Coordinator
I’m so glad to be Westside's choir director and music coordinator. While you may recognize me, you may not know much about my background. So here is a little introduction:
In July of 2014, I woke up with a purpose. A calling. A flame so bright inside me that I cried. A deep sense of knowing that my life’s work is to inspire others on their spiritual journeys and help them to create meaning in their lives through music. I want to change the world through song. I want to be a UU Music Director.
Since that day, I've worked to formalize my musical knowledge and experience, reflect on previous musical experience, build my network of music directors within UU and other churches, and explore best practices in church music programs. I have held a variety of music leadership roles, including serving as the Music Coordinator for Young Adult Worship at this year’s General Assembly and as Temporary Music Director at ORUUC in Fall 2014. Beyond my UU roles, I am currently pursuing a degree in music at Pellissippi State and singing with both the Knoxville Choral Society and the Knoxville Chamber Chorale.
My “day job” is in developing online learning for sales teams. I’ve been in the learning & development area for more than a decade and value life-long learning. I’m also pretty tech-savvy, helping to build and maintain websites and social media outlets for several organizations. And, just in case you thought I needed more to do, I’m also the co-founder of the Allies for Racial Equity group at ORUUC, advancing the church’s racial justice efforts in the community.
All of these facets of me would not be complete without the love and support of my family. My husband and I are high school sweethearts and we have two wonderful kids. We’ve also recently adopted two dogs and round out our family with a betta fish named Sushi.
I began taking piano lessons at the age of 5, from a German woman who rapped my knuckles with a little stick when my hands were not positioned gracefully over the keyboard. Despite this early trauma, I loved the piano and used it heavily during difficult times to express my emotions. However, I never studied music formally beyond the age of 13.
I am proud to say that I've been a nurse for more than 50 years. I once did general hospital nursing, later becoming a psychiatric nurse. I hold BS, MS, MSN, and PhD degrees, all from the University of Tennessee, and I have been a professor in the College of Nursing at UTK for the past 30 years. I chair our PhD program and enjoy guiding doctoral dissertations as well as conducting my own research.