In the words of the great Venezuelan conductor, Gustavo Dudamel -
I think it's a very important collaboration between the conductor and the orchestra - especially when the conductor is one more member of the orchestra in the way that you are leading, but also respecting, feeling and building the same way for all the players to understand the music.
On my way to the conductor's podium, I have been a trumpeter in orchestras, pit bands, concert bands, jazz combos, and big bands. I have trained as an operatic character tenor, played Renaissance cornetto, and have engaged in field research about Andalusian folk music. I enjoy my day job as a choral conductor and educator at the college level. Because my experience has taken me inside, outside, and in front of a diverse array of musical milieus, I feel an affinity for Maestro Dudamel's statement.
The FSO, Hub Opera, and Berlin
I currently serve as Associate Conductor of Maryland's Frederick Symphony Orchestra, a post I have held since 2015, following numerous guest appearances on the orchestra's podium. That same year I founded the FSO Camerata, a chamber orchestra that offers innovative outreach programs as a way to make great music more accessible to the public year around. Working with a blend of professional musicians and talented community members to help the FSO fulfill its goal of "enriching the cultural life of the Greater Frederick community" is one of the most gratifying possible musical experiences.
Since 2013, I have been music director and conductor of Maryland's Hub Opera Ensemble, leading productions of Donizetti's Don Pasquale and L'Elisir D'Amore, Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Puccini's La Bohème, and Britten's The Turn of the Screw. I also made an appearance as Basilio in that company's production of Le Nozze di Figaro. My work with Hub Opera has been praised by DC Metro Theater Arts as “breathing new life” into classic works.
In 2016 I was honored to be invited to provide musical direction for and conduct the International Opera Project's production of Così fan Tutte in Berlin, Germany.
After the last ten years of working with other companies, I felt it was now time to take the artistic helm of my own production and musical team. Enter the Button Down Opera Project, a new endeavor and the first step to bringing professional opera to Frederick, Maryland on a more permanent basis.
Click here for more information about the Button Down Opera Project!
Music Pedagogy and Degrees
A vital component of my professional life is my role as an educator. As Professor of Music and past chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Mount St. Mary’s University, I direct the Chorale and teach a wide array of courses in music history and theory and in the humanities. My musical and pedagogical experience has led me, on frequent occasions, to serve as a guest lecturer and presenter on topics ranging from Verdi's Il Trovatore to the Alpujarran trovo.
I hold advanced degrees in conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the University of Illinois, and a Bachelor in Arts in Music from Hamilton College, having studied under Elmer Thomas, Earl Rivers, Paul Vermel, Ian Hobson, Chester Alwes, and John Leman.
When not making music I can be found engaging in my passions for travel, learning foreign languages, and reading good science fiction.