Music has been the hub of my life as long as I can remember. Trombonist, band leader, educator and arranger have developed from that core over time. A great music education from a small school district near Pittsburgh got me interested in music and a supportive family, inspirational teachers and talented colleagues helped me make a career out of it. In my high school years, I watched my private teacher- Bill McGlaughlin, move from being a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony to the conductor of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra to the host of the nationally syndicated St. Paul Sunday radio show. He showed me how understanding the score is just as important as playing the notes on the page. That left a strong impression. Then John Swallow, at the New England Conservatory of Music, empowered me to explore all types of music. He helped me understand that I shouldn’t be just a classical musician. Playing the trombone has led me to some incredible and varied experiences such as walking in cold as a sub to play Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite under Seiji Ozawa with the Boston Symphony; accompanying silent films in historic theaters in places like Hopkinsville KY; recording commercial soundtracks for companies like McDonalds; and performing My Girl with the Temptations in front of thousands of people at an outdoor concert. I consider myself very fortunate to have had these opportunities. I’ve jumped at the chance to back-up classic, A-List headliners like Ray Charles; Natalie Cole; the Four Tops; Gladys Knight and the Pips; Frankie Valli; Harry Connick Jr; and Aretha Franklin. Picking up gigs with some of the newer faces in music today like Michael Cavanaugh, Tony DeSare and the Midtown Men continues to be a thrill. My career as a performing musician afforded me the chance to perform music arranged by some of the great arrangers of all time like John LaBarbera, Nelson Riddle and Billy May. Keeping with my training from long ago, I have studied how the music was put together (how, where and what instruments play to optimize the sound). I started arranging music, as a teacher, to fit the needs of my students.  Arranging music for some of my own groups got me hooked on creating music. And guided by friend and colleague Patrick Long, I’ve found composing to be an extremely rich and satisfying experience. I am now happy to add “composer” to my life story.