Wednesday, February 5, 2014


I recently heard the band on Dancing With the Stars was fired to be replaced largely by recorded music. This was a bad decision and fans of the show, along with the dancers, should agree.    

I was the piano accompanist for several children's musical variety shows at the Hedgerow Theatre in Media, PA.  The cast members were, for the most part, very talented teenagers, aspiring Broadway performers who could sing and dance quite well.  Shows consisted of solo and group numbers, some with piano and others with Karaoke. The group numbers were exciting and involved lots of good singing and dancing. After one particular performance of an excellent show an audience member came up to me telling me he enjoyed the show and particularly the piano.  He then said the cast members sang and danced better in the numbers with live piano accompaniment as opposed to those with Karaoke.

Since this particular show was a hit,  the cast members were asked to perform a few group numbers at a local fundraiser.  Unfortunately, I was not available to play piano so the obvious solution was to perform  Karaoke numbers from the show.  However the cast really wanted to perform ONE from CHORUS LINE, one of the best numbers, which was normally done with piano. The director agreed to let them perform it with Karaoke.  After the fact, the director told me the cast, though satisfied overall with their performance at the fundraiser,  felt ONE was a little weak.  It  was the Karaoke.  After having performed it both with Karaoke and live piano, they concluded their singing and dancing was better with piano.

Live music brings out the best in performers.  When will people get it?  When will DANCING WITH THE STARS realize it’s essential to their show? Maybe, after experimenting with recorded music they will get it when the fans and dancers are not happy. Hopefully,  then they'll realize that live musicians are irreplaceable. It might be too much to ask that a corporate decision be made that is an artistic one also, but, in this case the artistic choice is the right one for viewers and performers alike. By all means,    bring back the band. There's nothing like the real thing!
Musically yours,


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Reception or EVENT?

This past June, I had the pleasure of performing background music at a cocktail reception for the executive committee of the volunteer program at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It was held outdoors at the Centennial Café in Fairmount Park. Since it was a small gathering, all that was requested in terms of instrumentation was solo keyboard. My very professional Yamaha P8O keyboard works well for outdoor parties and, once again, provided a good sound.

Attendees were very pleased with the music and the committee chairwoman sent me a lovely thank you note concluding with the sentence “Your beautiful music made the reception an EVENT!”

I certainly realize the importance of live music because of many letters of appreciation I’ve received over the years. The chairwoman’s statement, however, was a unique observation of its capacity to transform a special occasion. A reception doesn’t have to be just another reception. Add live music and, who knows, it may magically turn into a warm, wonderful, extraordinary “event.”


Saturday, April 17, 2010


Good recording is a “must” for any musician.  When I began to work on my website last summer I chose to record at Morningstar Studios in Ambler, PA, because of it fine reputation.  Head engineer is Glenn Barrett.  I found Glenn very knowledgeable, professional and patient when I recorded my solo piano selections so I recently returned to record four jazz standards with my jazz trio. 


I was impressed by the “start of the art” technology. Not only could we hear each other extremely well through our headphones but could communicate with each other as well as with Glenn throughout the session.  Since we could remain seated at our instruments for most of the time,  the session was completed in less than two hours. 


The finished product is excellent thanks to Glenn and the musicians who worked with me,     Tyrone Brown on bass and my husband, Ray Bruckno on drums.  Tyrone and Ray generate a  magical jazz feel and I could not have asked for a better rhythm section. The four cuts are now   on the audio sample page.  Enjoy!



Saturday, January 30, 2010


I recently had the pleasure of performing for an event at the Tavistock Country Club in Haddonfield, NJ.  A company was sponsoring a post holiday cocktail party and networking event. I was asked to assemble a  jazz trio for background music.   My initial suggestion , in terms of instrumentation, was a trio consisting of piano, bass and drums.    I thought this would work wonderfully- a nice, bright swinging sound.    However, the event planners wanted a smooth,  sophisticated and low-key sound that would not interfere with conversation.  We decided on a piano, bass and saxophone trio for the perfect sound level.  Personnel included myself on piano,  and two world class musicians, Larry McKenna on sax and Bob Campbell on bass.   The event was a huge success, well attended, lots of conversation and many business cards exchanged. Everyone loved the music and the company was very pleased- it was the perfect instrumentation for the event. 

When planning a party,  please be sure to communicate your musical needs for the perfect ensemble. MUSIC MATTERS, INC.  specializes in customized, attentive service. Remember, the  right music makes all the difference!  



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Your Day, Your Music

If you click on audio samples, you’ll hear my renditions of more traditional wedding selections such as CANON IN D, a great piece for strings which also works well on piano or keyboard. Through the years, however, I’ve played wedding ceremonies for couples who think “outside the box” and had interesting musical requests. Once, a couple wanted LINUS AND LUCY by Vince Guaraldi from A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS for a recessional. It was well received, everyone thought it was great fun, plus I loved playing it. So, remember, it’s your day and your music!

Best wishes,


P.S. Your questions and comments are most welcome.