About MeThis is the page where I tell you all about me. To be honest, I'm surprised you're even interested, but since you clicked, I will explain... no there is too much to expalin, I will sum up. (Princess Bride Quote)
Growing UpI grew up mostly in Longmont, CO. It was there that I was classically trained by Dr. Christine Armstrong. She built my foundation in technique and theory. It was the incredible wisdom, patience, and endurance of my mother that kept me practicing (often against my will). My favorite pieces to play were Joplin rags; however, I did eventually gain an appreciation for Chopin and Rachmoninoff. I also studied harp from Pam Eldridge and tried my hand at drums as well. The harp and drums were also key in shaping me as a musician. Once in high school, I started playing at weddings and business functions (mostly on my harp). I'll admit that the money helped keep me motivated to practice. I could earn as much in a 3 hour gig on a weekend as I could working 20 hours at my regular job as a bank teller. It was also the harp that won me the title of 'Mr. Falcon'. I played the harp for my high school in a Sumo-Wrestler's fat suit!
LDS MissionI am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I served a mission for the Church to the Carlsbad, California mission. During this time I started creating several arrangements of the LDS hymns. I offered to play in church meetings to help me get aquainted with the members in the areas where I was serving. By peforming, I found that people were much more willing to meet me, and it started friendships much quicker than simple introductions. By the end of my mission, I had a large number of my own arrangements of the hymns. In my last area, my mission president encouraged me to host a fireside and present the first discussion through my music (yes, I'm old enough that I taught discussions).
It was a wonderful experience, and perhaps the first time I realized how powerful music can be in teaching important principles of the gospel.
College 1.0After my mission, I attended Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. I studied Finance. It was during this time that I got the best jobs in my whole life: a pianist for Nordstrom and a piano teacher. I played in the lobbies of Nordstrom 12-18 hours per week. This job was so fun. I couldn't afford a lot of sheet music, so to build my repertoire, I would borrow CDs from the library or friends. I'd listen to the songs, figure out their chord progressions, and arrange them into piano solos. I had that job for 2 years, and when I quit, I had over 200 songs memorized that I could play. I could play 18 hours without repeating a song. This job is what helped me understand how to arrange a song.
During the last year or so of my college career, I began teaching piano. This was a very fun job as well. I learned how hard it is to keep teenage students interested and engaged in their music. Gaining the perspective as a teacher has helped shaped my own compositions. As I write my 'Fun to Play' songs, I have those teenage students in mind.