AKSARA Member Bios

Louise Forseze

Louise was born and raised in Rhode Island where she began studying piano and sang in Glee Club. In New Hampshire Louise was an elementary school teacher, assistant principal, and mentor. Now retired from public schools, she has founded Peak Education Performance, a consulting and training company. There is always a song in Louise's head, on her lips, or in her heart. She has sung with Women Spirit Song, and is enjoying singing with AKSARA.

Vic Schneider

Vic (Victoria) Schneider has been involved with music since the age of six at which time she began playing piano. That first lesson was the door through which she entered into her world of music. The paths she walked along the way have led her to become an English teacher, a composer, arranger, accompanist, recording artist, choral director of an 85 woman non-auditioned a cappella community chorus - Women Spirit Song, and artistic director for AKSARA of which she is also the founder and member. Since the age of 14 she has literally sung and played organ and piano at over 2,500 funeral services. The ministry of healing through music, especially in times of grief is considered by her to be some of her most important, fulfilling and sacred work. Victoria has initiated the nonprofit, INNER HARMONY MUSIC and is also a practicing evolutionary astrologer and astrology teacher. She is the composer and performer of "Unfinished Tapestry" and "Therese's Song", two piano solos on AKSARA's CD, COMFORT AND GRACE.

Maryann Serafin

Maryann Serafin's gentle and flowing alto voice is a rich and steady grounding tone that distinctly blends with other's voices. Sublte, yet very present, the listener is brought in to a deep stillness. Her voice has been compared to melting chocolate. Maryann is a computer programmer by profession. She is a member of the St. Catherine's Adult Choir and enjoys singing both Alto I and II. AKSARA is Maryann's first small ensemble experience and she states, "I am growing spiritually every day with AKSARA's music filling my soul."

Jen Sweeney

Jen was born and raised in New Hampshire and has been working as a speech and language pathologist since 1995. She fell in love with musical theatre, singing and music at a young age. Jen fondly recalls music and singing as the center of family gatherings during her childhood. From elementary grades, middle school and high school, theatre and community theatre caught her interest and became her extracurricular activities. As a young adult she was previously a member of St. Catherine of Siena adult choir and member of the Contemporary Chorale and in 1997 Jen joined Women Spirit Song as well as Spirit Song Drummers, a womens' community chorus and African drumming ensemble. In January of 1999, Jen joined AKSARA, and with this ensemble has had the opportunity to record five CDs and continue to make music an important part of her life.

"I love being part of AKSARA! We have the fortunate opportunity to share the healing gift of music and singing with each other and with the community through benefit concerts, holiday events and Services of Remembrance through hospice."

"The way in which man can find his own place is to tune his instrument (his own being) to the keynote of the chord to which he belongs. Sound is the force which groups all things from atoms to worlds. When we go into the inner chamber and shut the door to every sound that comes from the life without, then will the voice of God speak to our soul and we will know the keynote of our life."
– Hazrat Inayat Kahn; 1882-1927; Sufi Mystic