Hometown: Washington, Pennsylvania Member: 2012
What do you want patrons of the Symphony to know about you?
I have a calico kitty named Pastry and she likes to “help” me practice – mostly by clawing at my marimba sticks!
Do you have any pre-concert rituals or routines?
I like to go get a beverage from the San Marco Bold Bean (vanilla steamers are my go-to) then come in to make sure all the instruments and sticks I will need are onstage (no unwanted surprises!) followed by warming up backstage on a practice pad.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a professional musician?
Probably either earn a CDL and drive for a trucking company, or move to Rapid City, South Dakota and work at a Mount Rushmore gift shop.
What teacher, mentor or other influencer inspired you the most?
All of them, but first and foremost would have to be Jeremy Branson of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. I started studying with him my junior year of undergrad and he shared so much information on how to practice, how to win a job, and how to play in an orchestra.
What do you do in your spare time?
I like to read, especially books about American history, and getting together with friends to make fun of bad movies a la Mystery Science Theater 3000.
What has been your favorite moment on stage?
The first concert with Courtney Lewis as music director when we played Symphonie Fantastique – at the end of the third movement there is a part for four timpanists emulating a storm off in the distance. I remember feeling very in sync with my percussion colleagues in all of those performances.
Do you have any pets? Tell us about them!
Pastry! She’s two years old and likes to take naps, play in the bathtub, and look out the windows. She’ll sit in my practice room with me if I’m practicing on a pad or xylophone with soft sticks, but she isn’t afraid to interrupt me if she decides she needs attention.
Who are your favorite composers?
Dmitri Shostakovich, Benjamin Britten, and Joe Tompkins
Performed as extra percussionist with The Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Coastal Symphony of Georgia, and percussion guest principal and assistant principal timpani with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
Bachelor of Music from Duquesne University and Master of Music from Cleveland State University. Formerly Section Percussion with West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Proud Endorser of Freer Percussion and Sabian cymbals.