I’m from Lonoke, Arkansas, a small town off the interstate just east of Little Rock. I retired from the military in 2011.

I studied trumpet with Vincent Cichowicz at Northwestern University where I played in several university ensembles, a jazz-rock dance band, and did freelance work in the Chicago area. My freelance work eventually took me to Minnesota. There, I joined the 451st Army Reserve Band, founded a brass quintet, taught private music lessons, and did performance coaching.

After my last military deployment, I began assembling some previously-written sketches into complete works. Doing so helped me manage the mental reintegration to civilian life; but, making the psychological adjustment from military to civilian life was a different story. I worked in project management for a while, becoming certified as a Professional Scrum Master and as a Professional Scrum Product Owner. However, I quickly discovered that promises of autonomy, leadership, and creative opportunities were merely marketing tag lines for job offers. Disillusioned, I quit actively pursuing outside opportunities and in late 2018, began writing music (I completed my first composition for wind ensemble that year: Solstice, a psychological journey through the mind of a deployed soldier.). I had spent several years looking for fun, creative, meaningful work after retiring from the military only to discover it simply didn’t exist! At least, it didn’t for me. Nothing met my requirements and expectations like music. So, here I am!

I have written for concert band, orchestra, chamber ensembles, and have recently begun exploring composing music for media. My music sometimes purposefully eschews conventional western music theory. And, although my cultural background is fully American, I’m quite interested in exploring non-western (non-European) ethnic cultures – particularly my own. Hence my enthusiasm for one of my current, long-term projects: a work telling the story of America using only American music (music neither imported nor emanating from Europe).

I’m married to a non-musician, which has made life interesting and unpredictable. Elaine (“The Wife”) and I share our household with a cat three cats named for composers: Mozart (for Leopold Mozart), Wiggins (for Tom Wiggins, “Blind Tom” as he was known), and Nora (for Nora Douglas Holt) who’re often jealous of the time I spend on music. Were it up to them, I’d be lazing around all day with them, chasing each other and the occasional “ghost” they constantly seem to be be finding! Lately, Mozart’s been begging me to write something for him (Be patient, buddy. It’s coming!). Now that the kids are out of the house and generally self-supporting, I’m enjoying my time researching, exploring, and creating.

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