April was born in New York City to Peggy and Robin Abraham in 1952. When she was three years old, her family moved to San Antonio as a result of her father winning an audition to play in the cello section of the San Antonio Symphony.

April grew up on the southside of San Antonio. She attended Dan-Ann-Jim Kindergarten, Highland Park Elementary School, Page Junior High, and Highlands High School. She was her school’s Spelling Bee winner in 6th-8th grades, and in 8th grade she was a finalist in the regional Spelling Bee. When April graduated from Page Junior High, she was given an American Legion Award, and in her senior year she was a National Merit semi-finalist and the recipient of the George W. Brackenridge Special Scholarship for that year. Her complete published poetry (one poem—“Dawn”) appeared in the Highlands High School newspaper, The Tartan.

April made her professional debut at age 3 as a last-minute substitute in Aspen, Colorado, in a production of Madame Butterfly. (She played Trouble.) When she was six, she performed as concertmaster of the Youth Orchestra in San Antonio. That same year, she performed on piano on a San Antonio Music Teachers Association recital, playing “Over the Hill to Grandmother’s House.”

The summer after her third grade year saw the arrival of her brother, Robin Jr., on the scene. He grew up to be quite a math and computer whiz and now lives in Austin.

April studied both piano (which she learned from her mother) and violin (which she learned from her father) through the 6th grade. One of her performances during this time was on her elementary school talent show playing “The Waltzing Cat,” dressed as a cat, complete with a long tail.

Starting with the 7th grade she continued on only with the piano. That year April was the winner of the Junior Tuesday Musical Club competition. When she was in the tenth grade, she began taking piano lessons with Karl Leifheit, and that year won the Joske Competition, which gave her the opportunity to perform the first movement of the Bach d minor concerto with the San Antonio Symphony at a student concert held at the Municipal Auditorium. Thanks to the influence of her high school principal, Mr. Herman Vetter, she played two more performances with the SA Symphony when the orchestra played student concerts at Highlands High School. During her high school years, April also performed a movement of a Mozart concerto with the San Antonio Youth Orchestra. In her junior and senior years she performed solo recitals.

After high school, April attended Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore where she received the Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance in 1974. Her teacher was Elisabeth Katzenellenbogen. After graduating, she came back to San Antonio and spent a year teaching with her parents and doing some accompanying. The following year she moved to Austin and began studying with Dr. William Race at the University of Texas at Austin. She received the Master of Music degree in piano literature and pedagogy in 1977; this was followed by the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance in 1984. April moved back to San Antonio in 1979 and taught at her parents’ studio and also began being active at the local and state levels of the Texas Music Teachers Association. She also served as the adult chair of the Junior Tuesday Music Club from 1981-83. During the decade of the ’80’s she was privileged to perform with Wendy (bassoon), Ann (oboe and piano), Sandy (French horn, viola, and violin), Phyllis (violin and flute), John (cello), Debbie (clarinet, violin, and piano), and Mike (viola and saxophone) Nguyen, all siblings and all very talented (and a whole lot of fun).

Since 1991 April has maintained her own private studio. From 1992 to 1994 she served as President of the San Antonio Music Teachers Association, and from 1993 to 1995 she was a member of the part-time music faculty at Trinity University. She has also served as a member of the Executive Board of the Texas Music Teachers Association.

Her students have won first-place awards in area and state contests and have been selected to perform in several master classes. In 1993, April was selected by the Texas Music Teachers Association as Pre-college Teacher of the Year. Her performing experience includes numerous solo and chamber music recitals, and she has been the accompanist for students performing throughout Texas and in Mexico.

April has also served in many capacities as a member of several Churches of Christ, Scientist, including as Sunday School teacher, Board member, Reader, and pianist, and is currently a member of Third Church in San Antonio. In 2013, she began composing songs for voice with piano accompaniment for use at her church. At watchfiremusic.com, the songs are available for download as sheet music, and also as audio files, performed by Kimberly Stephenson and April.

After years of assuming she would probably remain single for the rest of her life, April met Eric. They were married in 1995 and are now living happily ever after.


Back to Eric's home page.
Back to Eric's main links page.