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 Creator of the Play, Music & Lyrics

   Valerie is a singer/songwriter, pianist and composer with hundreds of songs and nine albums to her credit. She studied piano for seventeen years, vocal performance for five years, also plays guitar, and has been performing professionally in the US and abroad since 1963. She received her BA with the triple major in Music Composition and Performance, French, and Education from Cornell College in 1969.

   Valerie joined ASCAP in 1987. She is also a member of the Nashville Composer’s Association, Women in Film and Television Nashville, and the Global Songwriter’s Connection. She wrote her first musical in 1994, NOTHING IS OURS BUT TIME, and produced a reading at the Piven Theater Workshop in Evanston, IL. “It was a great learning experience which now informs my present project, FEARLESS!” In 2013 she wrote and performed a one act musical, HER STORY at ART à la Carte in Cookeville, TN and has performed many of the songs from FEARLESS! during several Tunesmithing shows presented by Music City Arts Network in Nashville. Both musicals serve as precursors to FEARLESS!, her second full-length musical. 


In 2003 Valerie founded Nightengale Press, now Nightengale Media LLC, and by 2015 she has published over 200 books for authors from all over the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. Valerie has published two novels of her own along with two children’s books and a myth-busting guide to the book publishing industry, and is currently writing a third novel. Her firm also publishes music on a limited basis in her state-of-the-art studio. As a playwright, she published FEARLESS! and also wrote the play for NOTHING IS OURS BUT TIME, based on the William Saroyan novel, Mama, I Love You which was produced by ValPro Studios. She is a member of Cookeville's Chapter of Rotary International, and the Cookeville Chamber of Commerce.


Valerie founded BlockArt Prints Inc. in the mid-1990’s to create hundreds of custom-designed, hand-carved block printed images for greeting cards and note cards for Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo and Lincoln Park Zoo, American Express, and many small and medium-sized businesses in the Chicago area. She received a patent for her GLOWBOX, an illuminated box that displays her Blockart images. In 2000 she began to paint again, creating a portfolio of work, STRANGER IN THE WILDERNESS, showing and selling her work in Wisconsin and Tennessee galleries and for private commissions. Visit to see her work. Her painting ARCTIC TERN hangs in the Cookeville Regional Medical Center as one of ten works selected by the hospital for patient enjoyment. She also illustrates children’s books for her company’s authors of children’s literature.


Just after college, she joined the Peace Corps to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) for two years in Togo, West Africa. Returning to the US, she married and started her family, earned her MA in French Literature at Northwestern University and taught French Language and Literature in public high schools and community colleges in Chicago’s north-suburban area for twenty-five years. She was nominated to Who’s Who in Education five times during her teaching career, and was elected Teacher of the Year by Phi Kappa Delta, receiving the OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR AWARD 2005 in Recognition for Extraordinary Dedication, Commitment and Service to Education. Valerie has traveled extensively in Europe, West Africa, and Iran. She designed the first curriculum and helped set up a school teaching ESL in Iran in the early 1970’s before the fall of the Shah. She founded the non-profit Overseas Alliance to develop a month-long immersion language study program in France for American students. More than eighty American youth met with then President François Mitterrand, who Valerie first met in her college years, as his guests at the Bastille Day Celebrations at the Elysée Palace in Paris.

  Her music appears on,,, www.soundcloud/valerieconnelly and YouTube,