I'm still amazed that when someone asks me what I do for a living, I get to say, "I'm a musician." I feel extremely lucky to collaborate in music with folks of a wide range of ages, musical and social backgrounds, (non-)faith traditions, and abilities.
I am a proud Minnesota boy, having been born in Duluth in 1976. While neither of my parents are trained musicians, they gifted me at least three things that I have found indispensable as a musician: unfailing support, a life surrounded by music, and a deep respect for education. After a youth dabbling in saxophone and piano, I found my calling singing in a series of excellent choirs at Duluth East High School, Duke University, and UNC-Chapel Hill. This exposure to high quality choral music and the relationships fostered by communal music-making set me on a path towards deeper study and practice.
I feel very lucky to have matriculated at four institutions that each played an important role in my development as a musician. Duke University allowed me to find my way as a musician in an organic manner. As I found myself drawn to more and more music classes, my professors were both engaging and honest about the areas where I would need to employ extra effort to catch up to my peers. A semester at University Natal-Durban stretched my conception of what it meant to be a musician and forced me to appreciate new learning methods. My time at UNC-Chapel Hill afforded me a thorough grounding in the importance of music history, form, and listening, a chance to teach courses for the first time, and the flexibility to pursue conducting, composing, and musicology all at once. Finally, my time at Boston University was an intense time of honing my craft of conducting, with a host of opportunities to stand on the podium and make music.
Upon leaving Boston I was fortunate to return to Durham for a position conducting choirs at Duke Chapel. My eight years there were a time of great growth for me and a chance to work with some incredible musicians. I consider that time as a post-doctoral fellowship, allowing me the chance to grow and learn while simultaneously contributing to some excellent music.
Since the summer of 2012 I have been able to make a living as an independent musician, working with a number of excellent organizations and making music that I love. I'm thrilled to be able to work as the Music Director at Judea Reform Congregation. A place that allows me to lead worship, teach Jewish music, and help others express themselves spiritually through music. I'm also very grateful for the chance to teach music history classes throughout the year, an activity that I began at Duke and carried over into my new life. I'm proud to be the Artistic Director of Women's Voices Chorus, a wonderful group of musical women striving for excellence and community, and the Founding Director of Sonam, a chorus dedicated to supporting our community through benefit concerts. I also have the privilege of working with KidZNotes, a stellar local organization that brings music to the underserved of Durham and Raleigh. In all these endeavors and more I am supported by my lovely wife, Katie, and our special dog, Amy.