Walltown Children’s Theatre offering Songwriting class this fall…taught by Rissi Palmer.

I adore Walltown Children’s Theatre and all the amazing things they do in the Durham community and I am proud to now be a part of their staff! In addition to returning as one of the choir directors for Raising Voices Children’s Choir (which starts on Monday, September 12 and it’s FREE to join!!!) , starting next Wednesday, September 7 at 5:30pm, I will be teaching songwriting. We will explore various genres’ writing styles, basic song structure, publishing and admin, and the students will have an opportunity to place their songs in a very special project I’m working on. If you know of a young person who has a free Wednesday night and wants to learn to write songs, click HERE for more information.  Scholarships are available.

Highlights from the May 21st The Relative Pitch Youth Open Mic

It was another great show filled with surprising talents on May 21 at Sola. Here are some of the highlights:

Ethan, who never disappoints, wowed the crowd with his rendition of “Lost Boys”:

Abby, a budding young songwriter and singer, performed a wonderful cover of “Hallelujah”:


Trinity, an enthusiastic young singer/songwriter, gave us her take on “Little Talks”

Sareena and Illiana won over the crowd with their adorably sweet performance of “The Candy Man”:

A big thank you to all of our performers and their parents for their participation in the show. Our next open mic is Saturday, November 12 at 5pm-6pm. You can sign up HERE. Hope to see you there!!!




“The Relative Pitch Presents…” Saturday, April 9, 2016 (Recap)

On Saturday, April 9, we celebrated our third “The Relative Pitch Presents…” at Sola Coffee Cafe’ in North Raleigh. This show was created to highlight some of the outstanding talent I have seen perform at the Relative Pitch Open Mic in the past who I felt were ready for a larger platform. Our featured performers were singer/musician Kristen Brauns, and singer-songwriters/multi-instrumentalists Fantasy Dispute and Janelle True.  We had a packed house and the performers put on a great show!

First up was Kristen Brauns. While no stranger to the stage, this was Kristen’s first solo performance and she handled it like a pro. During her set she showcased her skills as not only a vocalist, but also on the piano and ukulele. Here is a snippet of her performance of “Can’t Sleep Love”:

Next, was Fantasy Dispute, a talented trio of players who met while taking guitar lessons together. They performed a mixture of covers, like this one of “Dreams”:

and original pieces, like this one written by member Frank:

Finally, we ended the night with Janelle True, a young singer songwriter who has self-produced two full length albums. Janelle dazzled the crowd with a set of mostly original music and reworked covers. Here is a snippet of Janelle’s original song:

As always, I am extremely grateful to Sola Coffee Cafe’ for giving us a home and for all the good food and hospitality. I am also appreciative to those who came out to support these young artists, as well as the performers who did an amazing job!!!  I hope you will join us next month on Saturday, May 21 for the next The Relative Pitch Youth Open Mic…


See you then!



“The Relative Pitch presents…” on Saturday, April 9…Who’s in the show?

On Saturday, April 9 at 7:30pm is the second “The Relative Pitch Presents…” at Sola Coffee Cafe’ in North Raleigh. This time I am featuring vocalist Kristen Brauns, the awesome trio Fantasy Dispute, and singer-songwriter Janelle True. I can hardly wait for this show!!! Scroll down to read more about the talented performers being showcased:


Kristen Brauns

It could be said that 15-year-old Kristen Brauns was born to sing. From a home video showing a 2 year old Kristen singing the soundtrack to “Spirit” to performing with her sisters around the house, music has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. Having performed in both the church and school choirs since 5th grade, Kristen is excited about her “The Relative Pitch presents…” debut.

Playing the guitar, piano and ukulele, Kristen is a musical quadruple threat who draws inspiration from artists like Christina Grimmie, Ed Sheeran, and Taylor Swift. She looks forward to pursuing music education as a career, in addition to continuing to perform.



Fantasy Dispute

Fantasy Dispute is a local Wake Forest group featuring Bella Church, Frank Deaner, Jr. and Gabi Piercy. These teens met while studying music at Give to Live Guitar Studios. They take to heart the mission of the studio: combining the art of live performance with community service. Fantasy Dispute has played at venues all over the Raleigh and Wake Forest area while raising money and awareness for causes such as ALS, Cancer, InterACT and The Michael Lynch Foundation for fallen firefighters of 9/11. They love to live out their passion while supporting their community.



Janelle True

Janelle True has released over twenty original songs in her albums Swept Away and Painted Pianos. Her style alludes to the mellow sound of the singer/songerwriter genre complete with soulful undertones that resemble artists such as Norah Jones, Sara Bareilles, and Ingrid Michaelson. She enjoys writing uplifting music to which all people can relate. Since her Christian faith is so dear to her heart, many of these themes appear in her music. From light and ethereal in some tracks to deep and soulful in others, Janelle’s voice covers a range of emotions that captivate her audience with their sheer honesty and authenticity. From an early age, Janelle dreamed of helping people through her music, but the only way she can do this is if more people hear it. Please help her achieve this dream by sharing her music with people around you in hopes that they too can be encouraged.