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

Career Highlights
I have performed as an extra percussionist with The Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Coastal Symphony of Georgia, and as percussionist, guest assistant principal timpanist and guest principal timpanist with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. In 2016 I performed with the Britt Orchestra in Jacksonville, Oregon where I had the pleasure of playing at Crater Lake National Park in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. These performances can be seen in the film Symphony for Nature: The Britt Orchestra at Crater Lake which has been aired on PBS.

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.