Playing music, teaching music, discovering music, and sharing music all account for what I've been doing most of my life.

Working Man Podcast Episode 71, released in February 2019, features a conversation with me about what I do and how I've been doing it. The discussion runs just under one hour.
By age 5, I was obviously one of those kids gifted with perfect pitch, rare and annoying. My earliest influences have less to do with the formal classical instruction my parents insisted on, but I'm sure it grew out of an appreciation toward music.

Still, I think the reason I excelled in music so early was because I wanted to mimic an older brother of mine, in his teens, who could play the piano. He didn't like it when I outplayed him, but he did like it when I would privately show him how to play any song of his choosing, off of a cassette tape or just the radio.

Fast-forward to college, where I took my whole childhood study of music and pushed it aside so that my bachelor's degree would be in a field I was sure would have promise: communication studies. "There'll always be a job in journalism, right?" Sure, I got placed in some fine jobs that utilized my writing skills, but music went from being a hobby to even less.

When unhappiness resulted, I went to the Crossroads. Seriously, in July 2010, I left an apartment in South Florida and spent some time in Tennessee, Arkansas and, more than the others, the Mississippi Delta. Instead of selling my soul to anyone, I came away reenergized.

This is when I began calling myself the East Coast Refugee, because after living close to the East Coast's dear highway I-95 for the past 30 years, I wanted to escape.
My 2010 road trip inspired a more extensive sojourn through Arkan-tenne-texas-sippi early in 2011. Far from any home I had ever known, a few months of encounters enchanted me, sparking other creative interests I didn't know I had.

Along the way, I discovered music to be my greatest passion. Some surprising gigs along the way helped me forge my own way into the music scene.

When I returned to my original surroundings in Lancaster, PA, I was determined to make career adjustments. I have since reshaped myself into an in-demand keyboard player, choir director and musical instructor. The little writing I even do these days is music-related. I eventually married an Oklahoman gal whose peculiar accent and sayings still make me laugh.

These days, even my steady job as a choir director doesn't always tie me down to one particular geographical place for a full work week. Whenever life permits, I travel. When most of my gigs are 40 to 80 miles from home, my commutes cross county lines if not state lines, and typically bring new joyful discoveries.

Subpages (1): Experience