I began writing songs in high school, and as much as I love singing, there is a magic to bringing together a well-crafted lyric with a memorable melody. I strive to do this every time I write. Some of my songs have been sung by other singers at their request, and that is the greatest honor. In addition to writing for small vocal groups, church choirs, and individual performers, I write for musical theatre and film.
As a singer, I have been privileged to work with Shirley Jones, Randy Sparks and the Backporch Majority, arranger and jazz artist Jack Quigley, former organist for “The Lawrence Welk Show” Bob Ralston, gifted musician Marla Jones, musical director Steven Applegate, musical arranger Al Walker, and Michelle Hendricks (daughter of John). One of the most challenging aspects of my musical career has been to develop my cabaret performances to include show tunes, jazz standards, and my original songwriting. One of my most unusual singing jobs was to be a pit singer for Promises, Promises at the La Mirada Theatre under the direction of Steven Gothold. One of my favorite experiences was to work with a talented ensemble in a remarkable show called, Irving Berlin, Tonight in Palm Springs. One of these amazing professionals was Suzanne LaRusch; a sexy blonde who danced in the show and choregraphed it. She went on to make her mark performing as Lucille Ball...who knew?
I prefer to collaborate with others, and recently wrote with the legendary Sally Stevens for a song based on the story from the long form show, Queen's Gambit, which we titled "Find Me." I wrote the tune, Sally wrote the lyrics, and we had a wonderful synergy. She is a delight.
Presently, I am writing with other songwriters, as well as writing my own work.
I have always been a singer first, but find writing more satisfying.
Vanessa is a member of Broadcast Music Incorporated, the Society for Composers and Lyricists, and American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers.