By Karin Calloway


Lori Ascani Van Lenten, 37 (but in her mind she’s 28), is a choral director, music educator, vocal coach and founding artistic director of VOCE The Young Voices of Greater Augusta. She and her husband, David, financial advisor for Merril Lynch, have three children, Tyler, 10, Sutton, 7 and Evelyn (Eve), 2. Van Lenten loves her 15-year-old Cocker Spaniel named Bianca.She also volunteers as the music director/actor/vocal coach for The Augusta Players. She is an active member and volunteer children’s music director/choir member of Trinity on the Hill UMC and teaches preschool at Woodlawn UMC Preschool.

If you could have any job, what would you choose? I have it! I’m a mom, and I actually get paid to do my most favorite activity—teach music!  

What quality do you most admire the most? 100 percent admire an honest and straightforward person. I also truly admire perseverance and spirit. 

Dream vacation? In high school I went on a seven-country music tour through Europe, and in college I sang in North and South Vietnam. 

Favorite place to take the kids? We are CRAZY Disney people.

If you had a super power, what would it be? I guess I’d really love to fly. Seeing the world from up above would be amazing.  It also wouldn’t hurt that I could avoid Washington Road traffic!

Favorite TV show: I’m a sucker for legal dramas. Law and Order, Blue Bloods, Chicago PD, all of them! 

Wanted to be when she grew up? I knew at a VERY young age that I wanted to change lives with music.

Life lesson: I have learned the importance of struggling at things in life with grace.

One word you would use to describe yourself: Energetic. 

What would surprise people about you? I moved 13 times before I went to college but we aren’t military. 

Best thing about being a mom? Besides everything? I love watching them explore who they are and I LOVE my kids’ creative spirits. 

Hardest part about being a mom? My kids are either ON or passed out. They definitely got my energy and flair for the dramatic. 

Favorite indulgence? Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!

What was you first job? I trained horses in my teens.

Are you a planner, a dreamer or a doer? I’m all three! I love coming up with exciting ideas but I also really love the planning process to accomplish a goal. I also have ZERO ability to sit still. It’s a blessing and a curse.

Biggest fear: Cats. Definitely cats.

What inspires you? People inspire me. All kids of people.

Song playing in your head: It changes constantly. Remember the show Allie McBeal? I have theme songs for everything! 

This article appears in the February 2016 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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