I am a music director, performer, and composer across multiple media including folk music, contemporary classical music, dance, and experimental musical theater.
Music has the wonderful ability to act as connective tissue - between people, between art-forms, between visual and emotional experiences, even between vast cultural differences. That connective tissue is where my musical practice most often resides. I strive to connect disciplines, connect people, and connect communities through performing music, teaching music, and facilitating the production of musical experiences.
As a professional musician, I have built a career around connecting disparate practices. Raised first inside a bubble of classical piano lessons, I didn’t have my first “A-ha” moment with music until I began playing french horn in my school band program. Using skills built from my solo piano study, I suddenly was making music with other people, and the overwhelming joy of collaboration and community has rarely been absent in my practice since.
A classical background of study eventually gave way to studying world percussion and jazz composition in college and making my living as a jazz musician in Charleston, SC for a small while after graduating. The whimsical purchase of an accordion in my early 20s opened the door to playing American folk music with singers and songwriters. Moving to New York brought the opportunity to play music in the theater, both onstage and in the pit, as well as performing music with contemporary dance companies. A summer encounter with the Bang on a Can festival introduced me to a whole world of musicians and composers that had backgrounds as diverse as my own. I became committed to embracing all of my past musical experiences, and finding ways to connect them in my musical practice. Hence my current career of playing accordions in broadway shows, music directing experimental oratorios, playing french horn in new music chamber ensembles, teaching American folk music classes, playing the banjo with folk bands, and collaborating as a pianist with world-class contemporary dance companies.
Throughout all of my study and professional life, I am most interested in how we engage with each other while we make art and receive art. It is what drives me to compose brand new music, learn a hundred-year-old folk song, conduct a multi-generational amateur chorus, and teach budding music students how to write about their craft. We are all in this world together, and the more we can share our lives with compassion and connection, the better. Music is but one way we can achieve that, but with all its innate diversity and multitude of possible experiences, it’s certainly my favorite.