One day in tenth grade geometry class, I began to sketch out an idea for a cello duet. I probably should have been paying more attention to the proofs being described by my teacher, but instead I grabbed some notebook paper, traced a musical staff over top, and began to write down some ideas.
Later that day in orchestra class, a fellow cellist sightread the piece with me. It worked! I was absolutely enthralled. Music is still magical to me, but back then before I had any real understanding of technique, it was 100% magic, and somehow I had made it work. It was one of the most thrilling moments of my entire life.
Unfortunately my geometry grade suffered, but that's another story!
Ever since, I have loved composition, arranging and songwriting. I went on to study music at Oklahoma City University, earning a degree in music composition with an emphasis on cello and guitar performance. I may also have played in a few bands with some very talented folks along the way!
Since then, I have fulfilled commissions from symphonies, high school and middle school orchestras, and civic organizations. I have written and performed the scores for two films, including the nature documentary “Where Did The Horny Toad Go?” featured at the deadCENTER and Arizona International Film Festivals. I have composed for advertisements, and I have provided arrangements and cello and guitar tracks for dozens of recordings for regional and national acts, including Avril Lavigne, Green River Ordinance, Kelly Clarkson, Ben Rector, David Hodges, Student Film, The Lovely Sparrows, The Starlight Mints and Steve Burns among many others. I have also played in numerous bands and released several solo albums, available on iTunes, Spotify and other formats. In 2005, I was named “Singer-Songwriter of the Year” by the Oklahoma Gazette.
Writing for high school and middle school string orchestras has become a growing part of my career over the last few years. I am passionate about music education, and I love to work with school orchestras in a collaborative way, studying the process of composition and interpretation as student musicians bring life to my original pieces.
Stylistically, I favor distinctive melodies, strong rhythms featuring syncopation, and harmonies informed by jazz and the classical and modern traditions.
I am happy to talk with teachers and parent leaders about working with your orchestra to provide a unique educational experience that I hope will inspire students in their music and in all their endeavors!