Bios

T. Therese Byrne grew up singing around her family’s dairy farm in Brandon, Minnesota, a town of 400 where the nearest neighbor was a half-mile down the road. The first born in a series of six children she sang along with the radio constantly, and was drawn to the sounds of The Mills Brothers, Barbara Streisand, Boots Randolf and Bing Crosby on the family stereo.  Sundays were big music days on the farm starting with church hymns in the morning and segueing into family jam sessions in the afternoon when Dad brought out his harmonica, Mom donned her accordion and the kids grabbed whatever “instrument” could be clanged or banged upon.

Therese began playing alto saxophone in the fourth grade joining the school band.  In seventh grade she switched registers, playing the deep, rich, dramatic sounds of the baritone saxophone, participating in the school marching and jazz bands. At this time Therese began playing guitar and organized a group of girls into a “Guitar Octet” with weekly rehearsals and Sunday church performances.  All the while she sang at many social events, and school and church functions as well as serving as “the wedding singer” for over 100 happy couples.

Songwriting began for Therese when she entered a Cancer Society Jingle Competition for an anti-smoking campaign. The exhilaration of all these creative experiences inspired her to pursue music studies at Moorhead State University near Fargo, North Dakota.

Therese first came to New York City when she was 21 with the intention of participating in a month-long singing workshop.  She was immediately caught up in the vibrant energy of the city and has been living in Manhattan ever since, singing and touring with various bands. Therese focused on developing her musical craft by taking performance and music business seminars at the New School. In addition, she studied vocal technique with experienced teachers including Katie Agresta (Cyndi Lauper, Jon Bon Jovi, Bob Seger), William Riley (Celine Dion, Liza Minelli, Ben Vereen) and Alfredo Scotti, a vocal coach and songwriter/producer. She wrote the song “Hootchy Kootch” with Alfredo and started her own publishing company, Noodler Music where she is a member of BMI.

In 2000, she met songwriter/producer, Rich Brotman who, as fate or karma would have it, was looking for a vocalist with a unique sound and a distinctive persona to collaborate on a group of original songs.  The result of that collaboration is TEREZ.

Rich Brotman has been playing music since he first reached up to the keys of the piano at his grandparents’ house and was instantly captivated by the sound that resulted.  He started piano lessons at age 8, violin at age 10 and picked up the guitar at age 13. Straying from the assigned program, Rich has always attempted to realize the music he hears in his mind, writing a number of piano pieces before fully discovering Rock & Roll. Though his first original rock song kicked off the 6th Grade Talent Show and he composed a two-hour long Rock Opera about the Trojan War in high school, it wasn’t until his college years that songwriting took on a more meaningful purpose.

Playing in a band has usually been a part of Rich’s landscape. He joined a “standards” band in high school that performed occasional gigs at Social Halls in the Southern New Jersey area. He participated in the Vineland High School Orchestra, Concert Band, and Jazz Band as well as jammed with friends and their guitars in the woods.  While attending the University Of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Rich formed his first band dedicated to writing and presenting original material. Within a year, the oddly named quartet, The Joint Dragon Travel Agency, won an honorable mention in the WMMR Breakout Contest with the song 33rd Street Subway Blue.

Along the way, Rich has studied music history and theory at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.  He also performed for four years as an actor, singer and dancer with the Mask & Wig Club, a sketch comedy cabaret troupe at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduation he wrote a satirical song about politicians “on the take” called Shake Your Abscam , that was staged in their 1981 production.

In addition to developing a growing repertoire of original songs, Rich earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Radio, Television and Film from Temple University in Philadelphia. Upon moving to New York City, he founded Rich Paw Productions, providing Avid Video Editing and Music Supervisory Services for Documentary, Music and Corporate Communications Projects.

Piano Ramblings, a cycle of six piano pieces composed, performed and produced by Rich was published by DSM Producers for inclusion in the “All American Composer’s Library” of theme music for use in television, film and theatrical productions.  Rich Brotman is a member of ASCAP.

In 2001, production began on the current musical project, TEREZ, in collaboration with T. Therese Byrne. TEREZ is a new collection of original songs brought to life with the unique vocal styling of Ms Byrne, dedicated to presenting an affirmation of beauty, hope and survival in these troubled times

Click here to view the Rich Brotman Video Projects Sampler.