Taunia, also known as "Diva Taunia," is an award-winning professional vocalist and music educator, songwriter, choreographer, producer, director, and wears pretty much whatever hat is needed to get the job done. She's a vocalist, trumpet player, and sometimes pianist and has had the great pleasure of performing with some phenomenal musicians like The Persuasions, Wayne Brady, Rockapella, Vox One, Zoe Lewis, Vance Gilbert, Idea of North, and many more. Jazz greats Herb Pomeroy and Terence Blanchard described her as "a powerful vocalist with a warm, rich sound."
Taunia performs as a solo vocalist and trumpet player in the Los Angeles and Boston areas and has often been heard with the Ontario Chaffey Showband as a featured vocalist and the only female player in the trumpet line! She also performed with her vocal trio "The Lemon Drops," which is an Andrew Sisters-inspired harmony group with a swing-era feel. The very popular fully costumed and choreographed group played at some impressive venues like the Ontario Convention Center, Ontario Town Square, the Claremont Pie Festival, the Upland Lemon Festival, The CRECH Holiday Festival, and several Big Band performances with the Ontario Chaffey Showband.
Taunia is also an active educator, having taught voice, piano, and trumpet privately for the past twenty-five years in the private and public school systems in Boston, and most recently in the Glendora elementary and middle schools in Southern California. She is currently running the music department at an all-girls high school in Essex County in Massachusetts.
In 2008, Taunia weighed 320 lbs and it began affecting her music and career. After numerous attempts to lose the weight on her own and with a growing list of co-morbidities and a family history that read like a death sentence, she decided to have gastric bypass surgery at Boston Medical Center. The surgery was performed by Dr. Donald Hess and now, nearly eight years later, she is still maintaining her successful weight of 165 lbs (she's 5'7") and considered one of the weight loss surgery communities greatest success stories. You can view her entire weight loss surgery journey on her YouTube channel, which has over one million views.
After losing weight, she pursued a lifelong dream of dancing and launched her own dance and cabaret troupe called "The Diva Taunia Dolls." The troupe was open to any participant who wanted to join: no one was ever turned away. Anyone who wanted to pursue a passion for performance and empowerment was invited to participate, and the group grew to a cast and crew of over 50 in just a year's time. Taunia choreographed and directed all of the performances herself and also performed in the shows as well. They performed three themed sold-out shows in Massachusetts before Taunia got engaged and moved to Southern California to get married. She continues her love of dance through swing, latin, and ballroom dancing.
Through her weight loss, she was introduced to the world of fashion and pursued as a representative of many shapewear and fashion companies. Through her new "career" in fashion, she was able to work with SHAPE magazine, numerous television programs, and one of her dreams come true: working with Tim Gunn of Project Runway fame on the ABC television program "The Revolution."
Taunia is also a very passionate animal lover. Although she just lost her best friend of 12 years, Julip, she'll continue to love, care for, and honor animals for her entire life.