Colleen found her first guitar when she was 7 or 8 years old. It was long abandoned, missing a couple strings and hidden behind the vacuum cleaner in a hall closet. It was love at first sight. Colleen plopped down with her dad’s record collection and got to work. At some point, those oddly tuned strings started to match the notes Eric Clapton was playing and the guitar got a few much-needed upgrades. Colleen continued to play guitar and piano by ear for years. Her formal music instruction began on violin, which continued through part of high school, when she joined the guitar ensemble instead. She started formal lessons on guitar and played with a couple of local bands in El Paso. Her guitar teacher used to tease “I’m not asking you to play Cliffs of Dover by Eric Johnson” so, she set out to do just that, and found her greatest musical influence and the inspiration to pursue a career in music. Colleen went on to study Jazz Guitar Performance at the University of Texas at El Paso, under jazz legend Curt Warren. Meanwhile she taught continuing education guitar classes at UTEP and taught hundreds of private students at two local studios.
Life happened, and Colleen decided to pursue a career in Civil Engineering, and went back to school and set the guitar down for a few years. After moving to Dallas in 2009, she re-kindled her love for playing, and joined Unplugged Radio with 3 all-star Dallas musicians and played a few gigs around town. Colleen is now on board to bring the shred to DFW’s only all-female rock cover band – Battle Ax, alongside long-time friend, and bass-playing Goddess of Thunder, Kim Lusk.