M.I. Concerts

Hello everyone!

Sorry for the recent radio silence on my page here. I’ve been busy!! For those of you who don’t know, I’ve got this really neat project going on that I’m trying to get of the ground, M.I. Concerts. It’s a contemporary chamber music series with a mission is to create and nourish new music through events that are Michigan-centric from the composers and performers to the venues and inspiration. M.I. Concerts brings music to the people by curating events in places like breweries, art galleries, and coffee shops. Please, please PLEASE like the M.I. Concerts page, and share it with your friends! Let’s get some love generated for New Music in Michigan!

The very first (of hopefully many) M.I. Concerts event is next month at the Lansing Brewing Company on Thursday, 11/17/2016 at 7:30pm. Admission is free! Please come out to support the Arts in Michigan, get yourself a wonderfully crafted beer, and enjoy some music created by your fellow Michiganders!

I hope to see you there,


Consuming Arts

I’m very excited to be collaborating again with Chelsea Koziatek at another one of her Consuming Arts events!

Delicious Food, Wonderful Music, and all local!

Enjoy a meal provided by Red Haven’s locally-sourced restaurant inspired by the performed music. Local composers and musicians include Philip Rice, Justin Rito, Tim Patterson, Chelsea Koziatek, Tia Harvey, Suzanna Feldkamp, Jennifer Pittman, and Sam Davies.

There is a reception at 6:30pm and the dinner will begin at 7:00pm. The ticket cost does not include tax or gratuity. There will be four courses served with paired drinks plus the reception.

Each dish was artisically designed by chefs at Red Haven to accompany the performed music.



Multi-percussion and live electronics: A Collaboration

Composer (and friend) Doug McCasuland and I have been collaborating for a while now on a new piece for multi-percussion and interactive electronics.

Today felt like a major turning point in this project that started out as a trip to a junkyard! We met today to tweak the set-up and play through some of my part. I also got to hear some of the electronic sound world this piece will be existing in (so cool). The piece has some very interesting interesting inspiration: sound pollution, waste, landscapes, personal struggle. More on that at a later date. I’m looking forward to premiering it later this month at my recital on 4/23! It really is so cool.

It’s moments like these that remind me why I’m doing this whole music school thing. It doesn’t take away the frustration, but it’s a welcome reminder of what brought me to where I am today. Music. Art. Thoughtful responses to the world in which we live.

Stop Telling Women To Smile

I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure lately from many different sources (strangers on the street, but also colleagues at work and school) to smile constantly. And ya know, that just…isn’t me. This project by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is really powerful, and although it’s directed at street harassment, I ask that we all consider how we might be encouraging that culture in our everyday interactions with people we know.

“I’m not here for you….that’s not what my existence is about..”



…and then there are days when a colleague in your percussion studio asks you for recommendations on academic resources relating to feminism because they are interested in learning more.

Many days being an activist/critical thinker are frustrating. Activist Burnout Is Real. We can’t reach everyone, I can’t reach everyone. It’s been an uphill battle (that I may or may not still be in the midst of) learning which conversations have the potential to be productive, and which ones will only leave me with yet another glass of wine when I get home.

But it’s not all bad! Sometimes you reach people. Sometimes just by talking about these things, individuals come to you for guidance (or just an open mind for listening) when facing something they’re unfamiliar with maybe regarding their sexuality or of that a loved one. And sometimes you get the warm-fuzzies because someone (who you didn’t know was really at all interested) asked you where they can learn more. It’s hope for me that things will change. It’s hope that maybe I actually can make a difference. It’s hope for me that this world will get better.


Will I Ruin My Musical Career If I Take a Non-Performing Job ?

A positive post because sometimes we need that.

The WholeHearted Musician™ with Dana Fonteneau

Waiter holding coffee cup

I overheard two young musicians speaking recently about what they would do after graduation.  One of them was overcome with worry about how she was going to pay rent.

 “I have a few gigs lined up, but I don’t think it’s going to get me very far.  I might have to take this job I was offered,” Jenn says.

Her friend Sarah asked, “What kind of job?”

 “Admin and telemarketing,” Jenn sighed.

“When are you going to be able to practice?” Sarah asks.

“I don’t know,” Jenn says.  “I guess at night if I don’t have gigs. I’m afraid people are going to judge me and think I’ve failed.  A month out of music school and I’m already giving up. No one’s going to think I’m a serious musician.”

STOP!  REWIND. What if the conversation could go like this instead?

Jenn: I’m thinking of getting a non-music related job.

Sarah: What kind of job?

Jenn: Admin…

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