Beginning band or home economics. I had to choose one or the other, and having recently transferred to a new middle school this seemed like an important decision. Isn’t band kind of geeky? What will people think of a guy with crazy awesome button-sewing skills? Clearly not seeing the benefit of taking a class that was 90% female, I opted for beginning band—specifically percussion.
I clearly had an aptitude for it, working through three method books in a semester and being promoted to full-fledged band the next, and over the last 18 years percussion has played a foundational role in my life. From being a three-year all-state timpanist in HS to marching World Class drum corps on quads I’ve done just about about everything you can do as a performer, and over the last 14 years I’ve had the pleasure of teaching, composing and adjudicating dozens of scholastic, indoor, and drum corps ensembles.
I often think back to that decision, made on a whim and for fear of acceptance, and what good it’s done in my life. If nothing else it’s opened my eyes to what an amazing role the arts play in youth and society, and how important it is to experience them and give back. Although my life and career envelops several varied endeavors I always hold music dearest, and consider myself truly fortunate to still be a part of it.