I’ve been around a while. I’ve had some big changes in my life. Came up through the school of hard knocks like so many of us.
Music had been part of my life from the time I was 8 years old, singing in the church choir. My mom (and dad, I later found out) were both musicians.
I played instruments all through school (sax and trumpet), and my mom taught me how to sing at a young age, so I was always involved with music in some capacity.
Even in High School, when I wasn’t going to the rest of my classes, I DID go to my band class. I played trumpet in the marching band, concert band, stage band, pep band, and the orchestra. I took music theory and began arranging my own charts when I was 16. I loved music, but didn’t think I could ever actually make a living as a musician. I was also surrounded by people who thought that was just a dream or a hobby at best, and I needed to go and “get a real job.” Crap. Hence, working in factories, clowning around, going into the Navy, climbing the corporate ladder, and getting burned out.
I gave my life to Jesus Christ in 1996 in the midst of my very stressful computer career. And as much as I would love to say that in an instant my life was totally transformed, fireworks went off, lights flashed, angels flew around the room, that was not the case. I’ve heard some of those stories about how people were instantly changed the moment they gave their life to Christ, but this did not happen to me. God works in each of us in different ways – He meets us where we are. The process of sanctification is a life-long journey, and God has definitely changed me in ways I never would have dreamed 20 years ago. But, as with everyone who calls Jesus as Savior, I am a work in progress, and will be until The Lord brings me home. Amen!
Anyway, in 2000 I decided to start over. I started teaching voice lessons in my home part-time. So after working all day I would come home and teach a few clients in the evening a few nights a week. That grew larger and I finally left the computer gig completly to teach full-time. Yay! I’ve been teaching steadily ever since, even after becoming a full-time music minister. It’s just a great joy to watch people, especially young people, grow in confidence and ability because I was able to teach them something that would not only make them better singers, but better people too. Wow!
In 2004, I got a job as the Creative Arts Minister at a small local church. I was full-time staff responsible for the music, video, sound, lighting, everything. Wow again! Of course, I had NO idea what I was doing. The church had no band, no video, and patched-together sound and lighting systems. We couldn’t use all the lights at once because doing so would blow out the fuses in the dimmers. And what was really fun was picking up a local radio station through the sound system! We could have band practice and listen to the Dodger game all at the same time!
It truly was by God’s grace and faithfulness, and Him bringing some very gifted musicians, singers, and technical folks into my life, that everything got cleaned up, pulled together, and after a year or so we had one of the tightest small-church bands around. Praise God! He gets the glory.
Well, now I’m Music Minister at another church that we’ve called home for a little over 3 years. It’s a great small church where we felt at home the first time we walked through the door. God is so GOOD!
We have a great worship team with some absolutely wonderful people. We have a great time worshiping God and just hanging out together. I’ve been blessed to be able to write songs for God’s church, and Lord willing, He’ll give me many more songs to write. Meanwhile, I keep teaching my wonderful clients in correct vocal technique, and watching each one get better and better. It’s really a blessing!
I also really enjoy composing and orchestrating music for theatre. My most significant projects as orchestrator were orchestrating the entire scores of three original musicals, Amelia Earhart, Jane Eyre, and my most recent project, Sleepy Hollow. I really enjoyed those projects and would love to do more. Ultimately I would love to compose music for stage, film, and TV. You can hear some of my instrumental pieces on my MUSIC page.
In 1994 I was in my first theatre production. A strange Thorton Wilder play called The Skin of Our Teeth. Well, I caught the acting bug, and started doing more shows, and actually studied acting for a year or so. Now I’m an award-winning veteran stage actor, having appeared in many lead roles such as Psuedolus in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, as Lt.(jg) Douglas Roberts in Mister Roberts, and Luther Billis in South Pacific. My favorite roles are as C.S. Lewis in Shadowlands, and Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. Those were very challenging roles and really fun to do.
I have been married to my beautiful wife, Ceilia, for over 30 years now. God bless her for putting up with me all these years. I would have thrown me out a long time ago! We have a great son, Brandon, who is a Systems Engineer for a large aircraft company in the Midwest. He plays piano and sings. Actually, he and my wife both sing backup on my debut CD, The Works of Our God.
All in all, God has blessed me more that I could ever have imagined. And I know He’s not finished with me yet. Everything I’ve been able to do and to accomplish has been by His amazing grace. But it’s less about DOING than it is about BEING. I want to BE all HE wants me to be. Not just as a teacher and musician, but as a minister, as a husband and father, and as a follower of Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory!