"I was fortunate to work with Elizabeth to take my piano performance to the next level for the Miss America competition. I grew up studying and learning classical music, but working with Elizabeth allowed me to learn how to incorporate expression, emotion, and storytelling to engage with my audience. She worked with me to understand and break down each section section of my piece to incorporate my personal interpretation of the song into my performance. Elizabeth was also incredible in helping me improve my technique, providing me with practice tips that helped me hit every note. The best part about working with Elizabeth was her feedback after my practice sessions and her ability to constructively critique my performance in order for me to improve every time I performed for an audience. She invests the time into each of her students and her investment in my piano performance motivated me take my practicing and performance the extra mile. I can't thank her enough!"
Sonya Gavankar, Miss District of Columbia 1997
Board of Directors - Miss District of Columbia Program
"The talent phase of the Miss America competition is one of the most subjective. As a classically trained opera singer I was told to dumb down my performance to make it more relevant for competition. It was one of my biggest regrets in life. Now that I am a leader in the organization, I never want another woman to feel she has to do the same. I called on Elizabeth to help when our titleholder needed to take her classical piece from the jury room to national television. I knew Elizabeth would be able to enhance her performance by focusing on technique and bring deeper understanding to the 100 year old piece of music. I also relied on Elizabeth to transpose the seven minute piece to 90 seconds. Our titleholder worked very hard but it was Elizabeth’s mastery of the technical and theatrical that helped get to a top 10 placement and live television."
Kara Iwanowski, Distinguished Young Woman of Maryland 2019
State and National Talent Winner at Distinguished Young Women
"I am constantly learning and growing under Elizabeth’s instruction, and our coaching in preparation for Distinguished Young Women was no exception. Elizabeth not only assisted me in editing my piece and highlighting my abilities as a pianist, but she also gave me sage advice on how to present myself in a setting that I had no experience with. Not once did she tell me to simplify my performance or change some aspect of my musicianship. Instead, Elizabeth helped me to uncover a truly dynamic performance. I left our coaching feeling confident and inspired, and was excited to win the talent portion of DYW."