Susan Smentek was born and raised on the northwest side of Chicago and has been a resident of Elmhurst since 1997.
After receiving a radio-television-film degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Smentek taught voice and guitar at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music. She became the concert producer, booking and organizing more than 30 events a year at venues throughout the city. In addition, she founded her own record company, Siren Song Music, to produce and distribute her recordings.
As a performer, she has toured the US and Canada and has been a guest instructor for several colleges. Smentek was awarded a masters of music arts degree in voice at Northeastern Illinois University in 2007. A mezzo-soprano, she sings as a soloist for the Lira Ensemble, Artists-in-Residence at Loyola University Chicago, has been featured by the Elmhurst Choral Union in "The Messiah," and has served as a professional ensemble member for the GIA recording artists, the Cathedral Singers.
Smentek is director of music at Elmhurst Presbyterian Church. She and her husband, musician Keith Baumann, have three children, Laurel, Lena and Nolan. She enjoys writing about the wonderful and odd things that happen to her in the world of suburban motherhood and the music business.