I began playing clarinet in 1977 and saxophone in 1980.
Initial studies in both instruments were with Bonnie Harris, who taught many promising woodwind students across Chicago's northern suburbs.
In high school I studied clarinet with Julie DeRoche, who was studying with Robert Marcellus at the Northwestern University School of Music. She now teaches clarinet at DePaul University in Chicago, substitutes with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and serves as president of the International Clarinet Association.
I was lucky to attend a high school with an excellent music program. I played in the wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, jazz improvisation program, symphony orchestra, and chamber orchestra.
In 1981 I switched to the tenor saxophone. I started on the soprano saxophone in high school and added baritone and bass saxophones during college, but have continued to play tenor as much as alto.
Saxophone studies continued with William Street of Northwestern University's saxophone program, and Wayne Richards, the instructor at Roosevelt University. Both had been award-winning students of Jean-Marie Londeix.
I spent three summers at the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan, now known as the Interlochen Arts Camp. There I played clarinet in band and saxophone in jazz ensemble. The guest conductors there included many of the top band directors from across the country, including Frederick Fennell, John Paynter, and others of this caliber.
In 1995 I attended the annual week-long Saxophone Institute held at the University of Louisville. This experience opened up a window into a different style of classical saxophone playing. I've been back five or six times.
The institute is now held every July at Transylvania University in Lexington, KY. The institute introduced me to interesting saxophone figures such as Paul Cohen, Walter Hartley, John Moore, Lee Patrick, and Patrick Meighan.
In college I
studied clarinet for two years with Keith Wilson of the Yale
School of Music; one year with Fan Lei, a student of David Shifrin; and
one year with David
Shifrin, who succeeded Prof. Wilson as the clarinet teacher at YSM.
I toured and performed with the Yale Concert Band (Japan, England, Italy), the Yale Symphony Orchestra (England, Scotland, Carnegie Hall), the Yale Glee Club, and the Yale Russian Chorus (U.S., Ukraine) and played in the Yale Jazz Ensemble, the infamous Yale Precision Marching Band, and the Battell Chapel Choir.
My first private lesson student was Wayne Escofery, who started on tenor at the age of 13. He was my student from 1986-1988 and later attended the Hartt School of Music. Wayne is now a professional jazz musician.
In 1988-89 I played clarinet in the North Shore Concert Band directed by John Paynter.
In 1990 my saxophone collection peaked at 21 instruments.
In 1989 and 1991 I attended saxophone workshops held by Sigurd Raschèr in Hattiesburg and Atlanta, respectively.
In fall 1991 I offered to host the 1992 workshop. Raschèr accepted and the 1992 Sigurd Raschèr Saxophone Study Week at Yale University was born! This was a full-time job for me from the time I completed my undergraduate coursework in 1991 until the end of the week-long workshop in June 1992.
65 saxophonists attended from across the U.S. and 4 other countries. The workshop featured nightly recitals by guest artists such as Paul Cohen, Lawrence Gwozdz, John Moore, and the Atlanta Saxophone Quartet.
From 1986 onward I have taught weekly private lessons (saxophone and clarinet). Two of my saxophone students, Alison Apfel and Jen Mattson, attended the Raschèr study week. This was very rewarding not only because I got to watch these beginners turn into intermediate and later advanced players, but also because it gave me the opportunity to pass on all the expertise I'd received from my many dedicated teachers.
In 1998, 150 alumni of the Yale Glee Club formed the Yale Alumni Chorus for the purpose of taking a concert tour to China. There we performed concerts in three cities and saw many sights such as the Great Wall.
In 1999 I began playing saxophone with the Hudson Valley Wind Symphony, an all-volunteer band in Westchester County, NY.
In 1999 I moved to Old Greenwich, CT, and began teaching clarinet and saxophone in this area. I have space for a few more students.
April 2000 - Joanne Klein, who studied saxophone and clarinet with me in New Haven, was accepted to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
Fall 2000: Sang with the choir of Christ Church, Bronxville, NY.
June-July 2001: Toured Russia, Wales, and England with the Yale Alumni Chorus.
Fall 2001: Sang with the choir at Tabor Lutheran Church, Branford, CT. Performed music (saxophone and organ; clarinet and organ) during church services.
October 2001: Began playing in the American Festival Band, a professional band and jazz ensemble performing in Fairfield County, CT.