I am a native of Round Rock, TX, where I attended Berkman Elementary, C.D. Fulkes Middle School and Round Rock High School. While in high school I studied clarinet with Anna Carney. As a clarinet player, I was a member of the Middle School Region Band & High School Region Band. I was a member of the Round Rock High School Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Ed Stein. During my junior year we traveled to Great Britain, where we played concerts in London, Liverpool and Wales.
After High School I attended The University of Texas, where I received my Bachelors of Music in Music Studies. While at UT, I was a member of the Showband of the Southwest: the University of Texas Longhorn Band, under the direction of Robert Carnochan. During my years with the band I was appointed Baritone Section leader and performed in stadiums across the United States, as well as the Inaugural Parade for President George W. Bush. While in college I studied clarinet with Richard MacDowell. In the School of Music I was a performing member of the Symphony Band and Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Jerry Junkin. I was lucky to perform in Carnegie Hall for the premiere of Circus Maximus. My favorite performance opportunity came in college when I traveled to Austria to be part of the Austrian American Mozart Academy. There I was the principal clarinetist in performances of The Marriage of Figaro and The Merry Widow under the direction of Keith Clark.
I taught in the Houston Area for one year before moving back to the Austin Area. I was the Assistant Director of Bands at Ridgeview Middle School for 8 years until the Summer of 2014, when I moved to Cedar Valley Middle School to be the Assistant Band Director. As the Assistant Director I had the pleasure of directing the Symphonic Band to three straight sweepstakes trophies, the longest such streak for that band. After the 2016-2017 school year the Symphonic Band was named Citation of Excellence Winner by the Foundation for Music Education.
At the end of the 2017 Fall Semester I was promoted to Head Band Director, taking over for Jane Botkin, who served as the first Head Director of Cedar Valley Middle School.
I have had the immense pleasure of being on staff for the middle school week of Longhorn Music Camp (http://lmc.music.utexas.edu/) for the last decade or so. If you’re looking for an excuse to hang out with me an extra week into the summer vacation, you should come to camp! It’s lots of fun and you get to learn fun music. This year Mr. Alvarado will be conducting the Bevo Band.
As a musician, I play Bass Clarinet in the Cedar Park Winds (www.cpwinds.com.) As a founding member, I have enjoyed giving many fine concerts for the students of North Austin. The Cedar Park winds has played at both the Texas Bandmasters Association Convention in San Antonio, Texas and the Midwest International Band Convention in Chicago, Illinois. I love seeing students at my concerts! Please come see us play if you can.
When I’m not at school I enjoy reading, coffee, espresso, movies, watching TV, jogging in my local park trail, playing pokemon go, trivia, bowling & disc golf.
Currently my wife and I reside in North Austin with our 2 beautiful miniature schnauzers, Max & Stanley. In March of 2015 we welcomed the third member of our family, a beautiful baby boy named Benjamin James.
I grew up in the Detroit area, where I attended Detroit Catholic Central High School. While attending CC, I was principal horn of the bands as well as drum major of the marching band. During my time there, I was lucky enough to march and perform in Honolulu and London.
After completing high school, I went to Wayne State University in Detroit, where I studied horn performance. I was principal horn of both the Symphony Orchestra and the Wind Ensemble. During my time at WSU, I was a Resident Advisor in the dorms and the manager of Wayne State Bands. I was lucky enough to study with Denise Tryon and Karl Pituch, the fourth and principal horn of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. I also played with the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra as a substitute horn player.
After WSU, I pursued a Master’s Degree from Ball State University in Muncie, IN, studying under Gene Berger. While in Muncie, I performed regularly with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, the Ball State Orchestra, and the Ball State Wind Ensemble, and was the Graduate Assistant for the horn studio, as well as a member of the Graduate Wind Quintet. While a member of the Wind Ensemble, we were lucky enough to be invited to play at the American Bandmasters Association concert, where we premiered Paean, a new work by composer Steven Bryant.
I moved down to Austin in early 2013, and started been teaching horn lessons in the area. I started teaching at Cedar Valley in the Fall of 2014. During my time at Cedar Valley, I have directed the Concert Band to their first sweepstakes trophy and their first superior rating from every judge two years later. I have recently taken over direction of the Symphonic Band, and look forward to being in front of such a fantastic ensemble.
In my spare time, I also play Horn in the Cedar Park Winds with Mr. Alvarado. Our recent trip and concert at the Midwest International Band Convention in Chicago, Illinois, was a highlight of my playing career.
My wife and I live in Northeast Austin with our dogs, Bazinga and Ruach. I enjoy competing in triathlons, coffee, and riding my motorcycle.