It all began so very long ago. My mother would always tell the story about me shortly after I was able to walk and talk. I climbed up on the kitchen table and began to sing Handel's Hallelujah Chorus from The Messiah. I had only heard it in the womb, but it apparently stayed with me and so began my track toward a musical life.
My parents whole-heartedly supported my musical interests throughout my entire childhood. I sang in church, at home, and in school, with my first music teacher Becky Levering. I began playing trumpet, as my father had, in 5th grade and eventually started lessons with the talented George Voytek. Every opportunity I had to make music, I took.
When I reached high school, I couldn't get enough music. I joined more community and church groups, took lessons on trumpet with Marty Martinez and piano with Eleanor Peura, and participated in every ensemble at Edgewood Senior High School. My band directors Connie Sommers and John Shamp as well as choir director George Kirby all pushed me to advance my musical abilities and stretch myself through contests and honors ensembles. I joined the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony and participated in a tour of Europe with the Ohio Ambassador's of Music Ensembles through Bowling Green State University. The defining moment when I knew I would be a musician for the rest of my life came when Maynard Ferguson and his Big Bop Nouveau Band presented a Master Class and Concert at our high school. My eyes were opened to an entire world of music beyond what I knew existed and I never looked back. Eventually I would apply and be accepted into the brass program at The University of Akron School of Music.
At The University of Akron I continued my insatiable desire for all things music as I joined every ensemble I could. I began as a Music Educaation major, but soon decided to focus on Trumpet Performance. I took lessons from both Scott Johnston and Jack Schantz, two of the premier trumpet players in Northeast Ohio. Directors of Bands Robert Jorgensen and Dr. Galen Karriker helped me foster my joy in ensembles, especially the Marching and Pep Bands. I also performed with Concert Bands, Brass Choirs, Chamber ensembles, Jazz Big Bands, Small Jazz Ensembles, and multiple Choirs. As I continued into my graduate studies, I gravitated toward the Choral world, eventually becoming the Choral Graduate Teaching Assistant. It was under the tutelage of Director of Choral Studies Dr. Samuel Gordon where I finally found my true inner musician, and began making music on a truly professional level. I truly owe my musical career to Dr. Gordon and his penchant for bringing out the best musicality in his students. It was under his tutelage where my desire to Create, Connect, and Collaborate took form.
Shortly after graduating, I became the Director of Music Ministries at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Strongsville, OH. I have remained there for 5+ years and continue to work on growing the music ministry and making music to the glory of God! I direct the Chancel Choir, Handbell Choir, Brass Choir, and Cherub Choir. I also started and oversee the Sunday School Music Program and have created the First Church ALIVE! Concert Series which brings in musical entertainment from all over the country and world. To see more about the Music Ministries at First Church, head over to www.firstchurchalive.org.
I'm also occasionally involved with both the professional choral ensemble known as Singers Companye and the community brass band known as the Freedom Brass Band of Northeast Ohio. For more on them, check out www.singerscompanye.org and www.freedombrassband.com.
You can also find my songs and sheet music over on my Music Shop page to get a sense of my writing style.
I play on a Flip Oakes Wild Thing B-flat Laquer Trumpet with a 5" bell, a large .470 bore, and #2 tuning slide. It is a true "Chameleon" and I find that I can get a wide range of sounds and play well in almost every setting from screaming lead playing to intimate and delicate classical ensemble playing. I use a Bach 3C mouthpiece for everything as well.
My voice would be considered Baritone, however, I have an effective 3+ octave vocal range, so I've been known to sing low Bass, Tenor, and even Alto. I gravitate toward operatic and choral singing, however, I've been known to rock with the best and even do a little jazz and scat singing.
I use a Blue Yeti mic with Reaper software for all of my recording. For creating music, I use Finale and all on my Samsung Notebook 7 Spin and Samsung Galaxy Note 10+.