It is my aim to create music that is passionate, well-crafted and accessible. I want to integrate the different strands of American musical culture into a language that is fresh, but familiar. Above all, I try to make my work authentic.
I became interested in music at an early age and started piano lessons when I was six. Early on, I knew that composing music was what I wanted to do with my life. I have been fortunate to have had a lot of exposure to good music and musicians throughout my life. By the time I was in High School, I had sung in the San Francisco Boy’s Chorus, studied piano under their director: Madi Bacon and played French Horn in the Young People’s Symphony (I eventually became their orchestra manager).
I attended Berkeley High School which had a stellar music department in the 60’s. When I was a Senior there, I wrote a piano concerto which was performed by the school orchestra with me conducting and a friend playing the piano part. In High School I also wrote my first choral piece (a cantata which was performed at a local church) and I hosted a TV special on young musicians of the Bay Area.
Between High School and College, I became Assistant Conductor of the West Contra Costa Symphony under Ron Daniels (who mentored me in conducting) and together he and I founded the Alvarado Youth Symphony. It was at this time that I became particularly interested in musical languages that had developed in America such as continental counterpoint, ragtime and gospel music. I became a great fan of the music of William Billings, Scott Joplin and Charles Ives.
After graduating from Berkeley High, I went to UC Santa Cruz and wrote music for lots of different purposes including dance and incidental music for plays. I was the Assistant Conductor of the University Symphony, the University Band and the Opera Workshop. I also got my first real church job as Music Director at the First Methodist Church of Santa Cruz.
I graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 1976 with an A.B., majoring in music composition and conducting. However, by this time I had concluded that I was not suited to the academic world. I returned to the Bay Area and began giving concerts and holding a succession of church musician jobs.
As the years passed, I started a family balancing my life as a father, a computer programmer and a musician. I continued to work at churches and eventually became Conductor and Music Director of Berkeley Harmonia Chorus and Orchestra. Along the line, I discovered ragtime and eventually began performing at ragtime festivals around the country.
For several years I was associated with Goat Hall Productions an opera company in San Francisco which premiered my opera “The Soldiers Who Wanted to Kill Death” and a scene from my second opera “Joan of Arc: Fear of the Fire”.
At the present, I am firmly established in the North Bay as a composer, conductor, arranger and performer. I am Director of Music Ministries at the First Presbyterian Church of Napa, Music Director of the Sonoma Hometown Band and Music Director of the Wine Country Ragtime Festival. I am active in local theater and sit on the board of Sonoma Arts Live.