Musician; Singer; Visual Artist
Monica is a native of Francesville, one of Indiana's smallest towns. The youngest of three children, her father is a retired farmer and mother, a retired music teacher. As a child, Monica would sing and dance on stage with her mother's high school show choir. At the age of 3, she stood on the grand piano at the school's cabaret and performed Tomorrow from the musical, Annie. Thereafter, Monica went on to perform across the state in festivals, contests, private engagements and the Indiana State Fair. By the age of 11, she had become well known in Indiana after starring in several local and professional productions of the Broadway musical "Annie." As a teenager, she studied at the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts. In 1995, Monica was selected to become a member of the GRAMMY National All American High School Jazz Band and Choir. This break would become one of the most important opportunities in Monica's life. While being one of 12 selected nationally for the choir, Monica had little jazz experience. While performing with some of the music industry's finest, she discovered the impact of jazz music in her own life and in our society. The responsibility all performers have to its preservation and authenticity left a profound and lasting impact on her. While attending Indiana State University, Monica studied Music Performance and was a member of the ISU Jazz Singers. She became a favorite singer among many faculty members and even the President of the university. This led to many performances at university functions and sporting events. She interned for the NARAS Foundation in Los Angeles, where the preservation of jazz music became a focal point of her responsibilities. In 2000, she moved to Nashville to pursue her singing career, where she discovered the Nashville Jazz Workshop. The Nashville Jazz Workshop has given Monica the opportunity to study under some of Nashville finest musicians including Lori Mechem, Roger Spencer, Sandra Dudley, Beegie Adair, Jeff Steinberg, Ron Browning, John Arnn, Rod McGaha, Jim Ferguson, Roy Agee, Annie Sellick and Jeff Hall as well as create a family away from home. Monica has performed in several venues around Nashville including F. Scotts, Sambuca, Cafe One Two Three, Chappy's, Raz'z, Family Wash, Kijiji's, the Nashville Jazz Workshop and performs regularly for various private events. Currently, Monica is wrapping up production of her debut album, "Make Someone Happy", featuring the Lori Mechem Trio and special guest, Beegie Adair. This special project hosts many standard tunes with horn arrangements by Denis Solee and two original tunes by Lori Mechem, Beegie Adair and Hal Stephens. Produced by Lori Mechem, Roger Spencer and Sandra Dudley, the album captures the finest example of Monica's musical capabilities at this point in her career. The album is scheduled to be completed in late 2009. When not studying or performing, Monica enjoys spending time by the pool with her Nashville friends, with her family in Indiana and volunteering at the Nashville Jazz Workshop.