I am a composer, pianist, organist, woodwind player, and retired college professor. I was born in South Dakota in 1945, reared in South Carolina and Florida. If pressed, I would say that I am, at heart, a Southerner. Although classically trained, I began playing Jazz piano professionally while in high school, playing up and down the Florida coast with my Quintet, where I was the pianist and occasionally the clarinet player. I hold the B.M. and M.M. degrees from Florida State University, and the D.M.A. from the Ohio State University. My teaching background includes Lander University, Montclair University, the New School, and the Ohio State University.
Along the way, I received numerous composition and teaching awards, including numerous ASCAP awards, “Meet the Composer” grants, third prize in the American Bandmasters Association Competition (1987), the Oregon Music Teachers’ Association Composer of the Year (2000), and a National Teaching Fellow designation (1984).
I compose in all genres of music, including classical chamber ensembles, concert band scores, piano music, Jazz pieces, vocal works, and film scores. My musical language features a distinct Jazz influence, often including high-pressure very rhythmic fast movements, yet often tempered by lyrical Ballad-style slow movements.
Performers of my humble efforts include Wynton Marsalis, Ramon Ricker, Chien-Kwan Lin, Dave Demsey, George Gabor, Steve Mauk, Jerry Willard, Don Butterfield, Jason Byrnes, the late Meir Rimon, Craig Kirchhoff, the Amherst Sax Quartet, and especially the Verismo Trio, among others. My Gossamer Rings for Soprano Saxophone and Band was premiered in 1983 by the US Navy Band. It has since been performed more than a dozen times at several universities around the US.
My compositions have been heard in New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall, Town Hall, the Juilliard School, Eastman School, the Manhattan School, Indiana University, Michigan State University, the Ohio State University, and in many other universities and cities across the US, Brazil, and Israel. My Carnival was recorded by the Eastman Saxophone Project in 2012. My Trio for Flute, Soprano Saxophone, and Piano was recently recorded by the wonderful Verismo Trio of the University of Wyoming.
I produced two CDs, Oregon Impressions, and From Another Time and Other Original Ballads for Piano and String Orchestra, with myself as piano soloist, accompanied by a string orchestra. Both CDs received very positive reviews, including Jazz Police and JazzChicago.net.
My wife, Mary, and I with our Scottish Terriers recently moved to Kentucky after living 24 years in Portland, Oregon.
Speaking of Scottish Terriers, if you love them as much as we do, feel free to click on “Our Dogs” to find out about our passion……