|Here I am around the time of my first Juilliard graduation way back in 1982. That was for my Bachelor's degree. A year later the scene was replayed when I got my Masters, a common occurance in those days. People used to say that Juilliard was cut-throat and intense, but I really had a blast! I studied with Saul Goodman (in his last year of teaching, 1980-81), Roland Kohloff (a great friend and teacher) and Buster Bailey, another wonderful player and person.|
|OK, here I am at my first job, as timpanist of the Evansville Philharmonic in Evansville, Indiana. Back then we played in the local civic auditorium with a temporary shell. Now they play in a a restored theatre, which I'm sure is a lot nicer. Note the Ludwig Dresdens. They were a challenge to play on, has you had to finesse the pitches using the pedal and the fine tuner. I also played in the Owensboro, KY Symphony and they had the same drums. In fact, their current timpanist, Todd Sheehan, informs me they've still got them!|
|OK, now for the big left turn. In 1987, I left Evansville and moved back to St. Louis (where I grew up) and decided to go into commercial music with my brother Dan. Unfortunately, a lot of people had this idea at the same time as we did and St. Louis, while a darn sight bigger than E'ville, was no hotbed of jingles and soundtracks. Still isn't.|
|So that was rough, but we learned a lot and had some fun. We made some dough, too, but it took a while. We also had this band called Red Weather. We wrote 100 or so songs and worked incredibly hard at it, but it was a money pit. We'd get guarantees from clubs and pay our people (it was a six piece band) and we'd make zip. In fact, we'd lose money on mailings and publicity, etc. Again, we learned a lot and had some fun. The picture above is a bit fuzzy, but that's me and Dan up front. I'm playing timbales, congas and other stuff, which you can't see here. We both sang, too.|
At the same time, I joined an experimental group called the Nuclear Percussion Ensemble. We did Young Audience shows, a series of concerts, First Night St. Louis and a bunch of other stuff. The reviews were always good and we even won a couple of local awards. I left it in 1996, but it continues on to this day. The picture is of the NPE in costumes for First Night in the early 90s. We did this amazing piece called "The Circle" which was based on Native American mythology. Each of us represented a compass direction (I was south, and green) and we were tied into an enormous wind chime which we built. I remember it being cold (it was New Year's Eve) and sweaty at the same time!
went back to school a few years ago and got a masters in media communication
from Webster University in St. Louis. For the last couple of years or so I've been at Saint Louis University as an ITS staff person. My specialty is academic technology.
I also play extra percussion with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. For the latest and greatest scoop on my percussion activities, check out "The Basement," now in a blog format.