Where Are They Now?
Year of Graduation - 2011
Current Position - I am the Director of Jazz Studies at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, OR. I teach Aural Skills, Music Theory, all Jazz and Chamber Ensembles and I oversee the Individual Lesson Program
Time in current position - 2nd Year
Name some accomplishments or awards since graduation.
I was elected as the Oregon Music Educators Association (OMEA) Jazz Chair and created the Inaugural Oregon State Jazz Championships. I presented a session at the last OMEA Conference on Jazz Piano Basics and am published regularly in JazzScene magazine. I am also working towards my certificate in Jazz Composition and Arranging from the Berklee College of Music.
How did ABC help prepare you for these?
ABC has allowed me to help each student in my ensembles, regardless of instrument. It has connected me professionally with colleagues around the globe and prepared me by giving me the tools to instantly evaluate and fix performance issues in my ensembles.
What was your most memorable ABC experience?
Each year at ABC has memorable moments that have changed me as an educator. Of course, my favorite part of ABC was meeting my wife! I also fondly remember each concert, conductor, and guest performer and the opportunity to make music with and learn from their mastery. My favorite memory was getting to play with Doc Severinsen, Allen Vizzutti, Bobby Shew, and Col. Arnold Gabriel in 2012 as an alum.
Who are your biggest influences/mentors?
My biggest influences as an educator are many of whom I met during my time at ABC - Anthony Maiello, Dr. Tim, Peter Boonshaft, Col. Graham, Col. Mike Bankhead, and Bob Ponto. My greatest mentors have been Ron Christianson (retired Director of Bands from Stoughton HS in Stoughton, MA) and Susie Jones (retired Jazz Director from Mt. Hood Community College). Without the guidance and influence of these people, I would not be the educator I am today.
What advice do you have for young directors?
There is no substitute for hard work and dedication. Hold your students and yourself to high standards. You do not need to have all of the answers, but you need to have resources to help you grow. For me, that was and continues to be the network of musicians, conductors, and educators I met at ABC!