What is your earliest musical memory?
My family loves to remind me of my first musical moment from time to time, although I'm not sure if it was my first memory. My mom taught classical and musical theater voice lessons from home and I remember sitting on the floor as a very young child during the lessons, totally transfixed on the music. Before I could talk, I was able to sing the melody of one of the more simple classical pieces my mom had been teaching one of her students. I also remember singing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" to a large crowd at Great America when I was four years old. My parents were both full-time musicians throughout my childhood and we had a full drum set, keyboard, electric bass, PA system and mics set up in the living room at all times. Whole family jam sessions were a common thing!
Describe some of your professional experiences and how they shaped you for your career with Arlen Music.
Before I joined the Arlen Music team, I had been in numerous bands that also specialized in private events. I learned a lot from those experiences, mostly in regard to what I would do differently if I was in the driver's seat. I have taken my career in music quite seriously since I was ten years old and started doing year-long runs of professional musical theater with my mom and sister. I began composing original music at a young age as well and had a development record deal with Sony when I was in high school. I have three albums out of original material under my name and also have three albums out with my rock band, District 97. I never entertained the notion of doing anything else with my life and am SO thrilled to be part of Arlen Music as one of the bandleaders. I believe in high quality entertainment and this company provides purely that.
How did performing with the Ken Arlen Orchestra for 6 years prepare you for leading Entourage?
I feel very blessed to have come up the ranks through the Ken Arlen Orchestra. I was able to work very closely with Ken Arlen, first as a singer, followed by vocal arranger/producer, then as new music director, and lastly as assistant leader. I became fully immersed in the culture that makes that band the most sought after group in the company and I know that I bring that same attention to detail, showmanship, elegance and quality that Ken prides himself on. I am in a very unique position to have been able to observe the best in the business for six years.
What can people expect from an Entourage performance?
People can expect to have the time of their lives! We bring a highly customized, well thought out and seamlessly executed dance party that will take your guests to the next level of entertainment. It's rare that we leave the stage at the end of the night without being told that we're the best band that people have ever heard... And they're not just referring to party bands. All of the band members are close friends and we all work together on each event to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch. It's rare to find a band with this much dedication and who is genuinely excited to be a part of it. We all take pride in what we do and I think it really shows.
What do you do when you're not performing?
When I'm not performing, I'm doing all of the behind-the-scenes work that is necessary for future performances! Other than that, I have a wonderful, supportive husband, a daughter who is almost six and a baby boy who is due at the end of September. We just bought a house in Saint Charles, where my entire family lives, and I could not feel luckier to have parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents all around me. It's beautiful out here and we have a rich, balanced and fulfilling life.