For as long as she can remember, Colleen has had a passion for music. Her roots are in Orange County, where she began her piano studies at the age of seven. She pursued opportunities to perform as accompanist for choral groups starting in 6th grade and continued to accompany choirs at both church and school throughout high school.
During the college years, Colleen studied organ with Gladys Christensen at Wheaton College in Illinois while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Afterward she spent several years in a high tech software career and moonlighting as a performing pianist for singers and in musical theater pit orchestras.
She eventually returned to school to earn a music degree at Berklee College of Music in Boston. She ended up staying in Boston for 17 years, during which time she became a full-time independent professional musician as a church music director, private piano instructor and performer. She was rehearsal pianist and music director for shows at the Boston Children’s Theater and Newton Public Schools Summer Children’s Theater Camp. She was staff accompanist at Boston Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, and Concord-Carlisle High School. In 2006 she completed a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano at Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Following the completion of graduate school, she began directing choral groups at Regis College, St. Paul Lutheran Church and an a cappella ensemble called Second Wind.
When her focus shifted to directing choirs, she took formal voice lessons and fell in love with singing. For several years she performed as nursing homes and residential senior communities as a singer/pianist. During that time she developed a love for music of the Great American Songbook.
Upon returning home to California, she taught private piano lessons in San Francisco and the East Bay until 2016. Eventually she earned her teaching credential and is now teaching choir and keyboard Ygnacio Valley and Concord High Schools after a few years as an elementary music teacher in Oakley. She is currently the music director at Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Pleasant Hill, where she plays both piano and organ and directs the choir.
She is so grateful to be doing what she loves and sharing her passion for music, especially with young people.