Betsy began studying the cello when she was nine. (For the first 8 months, her “cello” was actually a violin. Baffled to find herself with a violin rather than the cello she’d begged for since she was five, Betsy simply played the hated violin as if it were a cello, until the grown-ups finally gave in.) She holds a B.A. in music from Wellesley College.
After graduating, Betsy took a job as a technical writer in the burgeoning high-tech sector. This position was much more attractive and secure than playing in a pit orchestra (her current music job). Over the next 16 years, Betsy continued to work in the computer industry while also continuing to play with various amateur orchestras (often as principal cellist) — even while putting in 16-hour days at Microsoft.
In 1997, Betsy began playing nonclassical cello with the rock band Gaia Consort, and now plays with many indie bands. She is a founding member & partner of the folk trio Tricky Pixie, and has also performed/recorded with S.J. Tucker (Skinny White Chick), Vixy and Tony, Heather Dale, Jeff & Maya Bohnhoff, Ronnda Cadle, Incus, Bone Poets, Seanan McGuire, Leannan Sidhe, Amy McNally, and many others.
Betsy taught beginning cello for several years in the Redmond public schools, and now teaches a few select adult students. She is an active member of the New Directions Cello Association, a worldwide association dedicated to nonclassical forms of cello playing. Most recently, Betsy won the 2012 Pegasus Award for Best Performer.
Betsy and her husband Dave live just east of Seattle; they have two children, now nearly grown (Jamie, 22, and Katie, 18) as well as several Maine Coon cats, which they breed and show under the cattery name Pinecoon (the cats, not the kids :-).