Tena Moyer

Tena Moyer


An evening of music with Tena is a diverse experience, from flashy guitar instrumentals to introspective ballads and clever jazz compositions. Her music is exciting, intelligent and dynamic and her playing has led to such nicknames as “Guitar Goddess” and “Chord Queen.”


Renaissance Woman.

Ask anyone who knows Tena Moyer to describe her and that’s what they’ll say. An accomplished guitarist, she has won multiple awards for her playing, and her fingerstyle instrumentals have been covered by guitar enthusiasts around the country. She has taught at many of the finest music camps, including Puget Sound Guitar Camp, California Coast Music Camp, Swannanoa Gathering (both the songwriting and guitar programs), Summersongs and WOMAMU (Women Making Music.) An award winning songwriter, she has twice been a finalist at The Napa Valley Folk Festival and has won three SAW awards in the jazz category. Her voice is strong and clear with an impressive three octave range, reminiscent of the great Broadway singers.

But her talents and interests extend beyond the musical sphere. As an undergraduate she studied biology and art, combining these two disparate fields into a freelance avocation as a medical illustrator. She has extended her love of the visual arts into the arena of fiber arts and has won awards not only for her paintings but for her embroidery work as well. She has also developed needlework designs for both private individuals and large companies. As a prose writer her essays have been published in such prestigious publications as Discover Magazine and reproduced in college textbooks on writing. Her writings are even used to help teach English to medical students in Kuwait! And finally, as a physician, she is a psychiatrist who specializes in psychotherapy and the treatment of trauma and substance abuse.

Tena’s musical interests are as diverse as her talents. Her parents were season ticket holders at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, so she was introduced very early to the great musicals of Broadway. As an adolescent she absorbed the acoustic guitar influences of the seventies, filching licks from such great players as James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Leo Kotke. Her parents had kept an extensive collection from their own adolescence and, much to her dismay, she had to concede that the music on her parents’ 78’s was pretty cool. This began her love affair with jazz. She attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she studied guitar and composition. She has also studied guitar with Ted Greene (Chord Chemistry), Leon White (Styles for the Studio) and Rick Ruskin. She studied voice with Seth Riggs (“Vocal Coach to the Stars” including Madonna, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler). Riggs was impressed enough with her vocal skill to offer her the opportunity to teach voice under his tutelage, and recommend her for an audition to the musical theater director at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. An evening of music with Tena is likely to be a diverse experience, from flashy guitar instrumentals to introspective ballads and clever jazz compositions. Her music is exciting, intelligent and dynamic and her playing has led to such nicknames as “Guitar Goddess” and “Chord Queen.”

A native of Los Angeles, Tena currently makes her home in Tucson, Arizona where she and her husband Jim promote acoustic music through a series of house concerts that include not only a feast for the ears but for the palate as well. Her tortilla soup has become “World Famous.” So add that to her list of talents, too – chef.


Grand Adventure

Written By: Tena Moyer


Sometimes there's no rhyme or reason
Sometimes there's no right or wrong
Sometimes life just happens to you
And it carries you along
On a strange and grand adventure
Off the safe, familiar lane
Though you try and find the road
You can't go back the way you came
Make your plans and plot your journey
Say your prayers each night, and still
On this bittersweet adventure
Life will take you where it will
Life will take you where you will

At the crossroads you consider
Which direction you should go
Where a road will finally lead
You only guess, you cannot know
'Cause sometimes something unexpected
Happens just beyond the turn
That the unexpected happens
Is the lesson that you learn
Every road you chose to travel
Leaves the road you did not take
The choice may sometimes be mistaken
But choosing isn't the mistake
It is just a choice you make

Finally you climb to the top of the mountain
Master of all you survey
Off in the distance another mountain glistens
Beckoning you on your way

And so begins another journey
To another journey's end
Carrying the hopes and dreams
Of where you'll go and where you've been
'Till looking forward to your future
And looking back the way you came
You realize the destination and the journey
Are the same
Dreams exceed our expectations
Disappoint us, fall apart
But on this strange and grand adventure
This bittersweet and grand adventure
On this great and grand adventure
All roads lead back to the start
For they will lead you to your heart

Too Wonderful for Words

Written By: Tena Moyer


INTRO: My friends are always asking me about you
And I answer that I don't know what to tell
It's not that I'm uninterested or doubt you
It's simply that you're absolutely swell
Incoherent mumbling's all I muster
Idiotic fumbling for the words
But adjectives aren't adequate
And adverbs never do
For that undefinable
Wonder that is you
It's true

Is David just a statue?
Is Mickey just a mouse?
Is Iceland just an island?
Is Versailles just a house?
Diana was a princess
Charles was a louse
That's more than silly syllables can say
Is champagne simply soda pop
Or is it sheer perfection?
Is chocolate sinfully divine
Or is it mere confection?
Is a peacock so exquisite
Or is it just a bird?
Some things are too wonderful for words

Is a poem by Dickinson
Just a description?
Is a painting by Degas
Just a depiction?
Is a blessing by the Pope
Just a benediction
Or more than merely mortal man can pray?
Did Adam eat an apple?
Did Sherlock have a clue?
Did Ahab have a nemesis?
Did Hamlet's dad say "Boo"?
Were wooly mammoths wooly
Or were the simply furred?
Some things are too wonderful for words

BRIDGE: I could say you're sensational
I could say you're sublime
But the best thing about you
I can say that you're mine
You're mine

Was Ali just a boxer
Or was he The Champ?
Was Chaplin just an actor
Or was he The Tramp?
Elvis was an idol
Now he's just a stamp
His body language had a lot to say
Was Fred Astaire so debonaire
Or was it just a dance?
When Rhett said "I don't give a damn"
Was it just romance?
The sirens sang to sailors
This is what they heard
A melody too wonderful for words

TAG: You're unbeatable
But mostly you're too wonderful for words

Company Man

Written By: Tena Moyer

Company Man

Judas, on the judgment day
Was asked if he would like to say
Something to refute accusations of traitor
“My only crime is loyalty
I did only what was asked of me
Jesus was, himself, my collaborator
It was all done for the good of mankind
Every good cause needs a martyr at times
It’s not as cynical as it all seems
The end justifies the means”

I’m just a company man
A cog in the wheel, a part of the plan
I have no control, I give no commands
I’m just a company man
A company man

Then Brutus came before the bench
And speaking in his own defense
He said “I was but a pawn,
not a policy maker
I was not author of the act
I’m just a lowly bureaucrat
Who was I to be the only nay-sayer?
I was a puppet performing a role
Caught up by forces beyond my control
I took the heat for the deed that was done
But I wasn’t the only one”


Lucifer rose and addressed his detractors
“I’m just a foil in the drama of life
The world is a stage and we are the actors
In a passion play of God and men
Followed by the news at ten”
Good citizen of Germany
The charges are complacency
Silence, in itself, is an act of collusion
“I did not see, I did not hear
I was paralyzed by fear
Reason is the casualty of confusion
It was a symptom, a sign of the times
Seen in perspective mine wasn’t a crime
In my position what else could I do
If you were me you would have, too”


I’m just a company man
A pawn in their game, a card in their hand
I just do my job the best that I can
I’m just a company man
A company man


Shining Through (2005)