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~ Composer ~ Pianist ~ Recording Artist ~ Music Therapist ~
Love of music began in the dawn of life for this Missouri-born artist. Her first inspiration was her father who is a self-taught pianist and songwriter. (He is at the piano with her on the photo gallery page of her website.) Before long, a spark of fascination lit an intrinsic musical presence within her and by the age of four, Denise was playing by ear; at five, she began studying privately and performed, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” at her first recital. Music became a natural way of expression, and she wrote her first song at the age of fourteen on her Wurlitzer spinet. From “Hey Jude” to the spirit of the classical masters, feelings, experiences, and nature, a light of inspiration brings life to songs and compositions, rooting her into the musical soil. She has written and performed her piano pieces throughout the U.S. and Ireland.
Denise’s most recent music news is her new CD, “Something You Dream Of…”, produced by Will Ackerman, Founder of Windham Hill and Grammy Award Winning artist. Throughout her life as a songwriter, pianist, music therapist, and instructor, her determination and a bit of synchronicity has led her toward the right road. In January of 2006, she sent her demo CD to Will at Imaginary Road Studios, and received the answer that brought her dream closer into focus. Will became her producer, and for the months prior to the studio recording at Imaginary Road Studios in September 2006, Will provided guidance and inspiration for Denise, expanding her expression on her instrument, the piano. She is very grateful to say that Will and his guitar are beautifully present on track 3, Green Mountain Meadows, track 9, Why, and track 10, West River of the new CD. Other celebrated artists are Eugene Friesen, Grammy Award winning cellist, Jill Haley on English horn, Derrik Jordan, percussionist, Steve Schuch on violin, David Weiss on clarinet, Noah Wilding, vocalist, T-Bone Wolk on bass, and Imaginary Road’s Grammy Award winning engineer, Corin Nelsen.
There are always a few musical goals on her list, including one day being part of writing music for film, collaborating with or writing for a famous vocalist, and altruistic yearnings, such as charity events and benefiting others through her music. “My mission is to move and delight the world with my music. Since music has a miraculous ability to express, it can be very healing; emotionally, physically, and spiritually, whether you are the listener, the musician, or the vessel of its creation. And it’s a really wonderful feeling when people of all ages tell me that they love to listen my music – it validates and tells me this is one of the things I’m called to do!”
(Scheduling of promotional concerts for the new CD, “Something You Dream Of” is underway!) Some of the places that Denise has performed include: Borders Books and Music, St. Louis, Missouri; Radio KDHX-FM, Live Audience recording for “Focal Point’s” Food for the Hungry, St. Louis, one of several recordings from that station. The Grandel Ballroom “Suite 16” CD Release Concert 2001, St. Louis; Other Personal Appearances - Generations Concert Theater, St. Louis; Coffee with the Stars, St. Louis; The Wildflower Restaurant, St. Louis; Glen Oak Church, St. Peters; Ericcson’s Restaurant on the Pier, California; Landsdowne Arms Restaurant and Hotel, Kenmare, Ireland--and various churches and private parties throughout the U.S.
In addition to writing, performing music, and teaching, Denise earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy from Maryville University, St. Louis. Over the years, she has applied music therapy techniques to cases of autism, speech, stress, and physical impairments, as well as the use of music for relaxation and meditation. "I have seen several breakthroughs through music alone and when used with other therapies, such as speech, physical, and psychological.”