Position: Band Director
Degree: Music Education
School: Middle Tennessee State University
What do you love about teaching at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy?
I love the work ethic and desire of the students to learn. They bring so much passion and enthusiasm with them and they enjoy the learning process. They are very much goal oriented and want to succeed, and most importantly, they are willing to do the work to make it happen.
What are your hopes for the band program?
It is my goal for the band program to continue to grow into top-notch ensembles with professionalism in the direction and musicianship of all involved; that the performances and other opportunities will be meaningful and provide everlasting memories and relationships.
What do you want your students to take away from being in your class?
I want my students to learn that music is a life-long subject. All the best musicians continue to practice. When Yo-Yo Ma was asked why he practiced, he simply said, “Because I am still learning.” I try to practice my instrument(s) and perform in the local community because it continues to mold me into a better musician and a better educator. I hope my students will recognize that and apply it to their own education and interests, musically or otherwise.
What has been your most memorable moment in teaching? Music truly is an international language. During my time at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), I had the opportunity to work with a number of world-renowned composers, as well as to perform and record a number of World Premiere compositions. One highlight was being asked to conduct the 2012 MTSU Concert Band for the World Premiere performance of Kevin Joest’s, “Tu Amor Me Hace Bien.” This piece was inspired by a visit to Panama and Costa Rica with the MTSU Wind Ensemble during the summer of 2011, on which Kevin and I were lucky enough to travel. That was one of many international experiences I had through music.
In the summer of 2012, I visited a camp in China to teach music, giving the experience of a concert band to Chinese students for the first time. Since arriving at Holy Trinity, I have been lucky enough to travel to our partner school, St. Sacrement, in Fond Parisien, Haiti. Both trips brought the opportunity to share music with the teachers and students. It is a real joy to share the opportunity to learn music with others around the world. This has been a real highlight of my career to this point.
How do you stay inspired or “recharge your battery” as an educator?
Performances. When I attend concerts, I am continually in awe of what talents different people have. Whether it be local community organizations, Top 40 artists, or some of the world’s best young musicians, they always energize me to continue to teach music. Having students that come to class eager to learn and understand music on a deeper level never hurts either!