Miss Rita has been playing piano and drums for over 25 years, and has been teaching music to children of all ages for 8 years, including kindergarten students and children with special needs, such as autism. Rita has performed on drums with a variety of blues and rock artists including Dickey Betts & Great Southern (Allman Brothers Band), Larry McCray, Mark May & Michael Angelo Batio.
Rita appeared on her first record, The Cat Came Back by Fred Penner, at age 5. By the time she was 9, she won several classical piano competitions, including 1st place two years in a row (ages 10 years & under) at the Canadian Royal Conservatory of Musiccompetition & 1st place in the piano solo division at the Alberta Music Festival.
Rita grew up in a very musical family. Her mother was accomplished in the art of south Indian classical dance barathnatyam and her grandfather was a vocalist of classical south Indian music. Her father also sang, played tablas, harmonica and the ancient Indian lap steel keyboard the bulbul.
In 1986, Rita attended Musicians Institute/Percussion Institute of Technology (P.I.T.) in Hollywood, Cailfornia. After winning first place in Houston at age 15 at the Yamaha National Electone Keyboard Festival with her modern arrangement of Clementi’s “Sonatina in D”, Brook Mays / Sherman Clay offered Rita her first job ever: playing Christmas carols at the mall. In high school, Rita played drums for her high school cheerleading squad. In college, while pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in English/Music and playing with her college percussion ensemble, Rita played drums in several classic rock, country and blues bands, performing at a variety of musical venues ranging from Fair on the Square to Rice University to the House of Blues. As a composer, Margaret composed award-winning original music scores for public service radio announcements and college television.
Currently, in addition to teaching piano and drums and performing as a live musician, Rita is at work in the studio, working on the release of a new cd. She is also in the process of developing and publishing her own musical curriculum and teaching method. Rita loves dogs and is active in working with animal rescue organizations.