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About me

 

 

Like most people, I began my musical life in the sixth grade band.  I started out on the clarinet.  Throughout junior high and high school, my love for music continued to grow.  After placing in the All-State band my junior year, my clarinet teacher gave me his blessing to start learning saxophone along with my clarinet studies.  In college, while clarinet was still my primary instrument, I added flute to my vocabulary and began pursuing my dreams of being a woodwind doubler(someone who plays multiple instruments in pit orchestras or musicals and the like). I graduated with my bachelors in clarinet performance from Sam Houston State University in 2004.

July 28, 2008 I suffered a near-fatal hemorrhagic stroke due to two severe brain tumors that led to a bleed in a surrounding, weakend blood vessel.

As a result of the stroke, I was left with hemiparesis of my left side. Not quite paralysis, but unable to use my left hand, nonetheless. I returned to teaching, somewhat, in October 2009.  Early 2010, desperate to be able to make music again and get teaching more regularly, I sent my saxophone to Jeff Stelling of Kearney Nebraska to have it converted to his "toggle-key" system. This mechanism allows the instrument to be played by the right hand alone.  After nearly two years of waiting, It was completed and I picked it up in January 2012.   

 I have selections from my college recitals on my Soundcloud page here.  These are all performances on the clarinet, since that was my primary instrument.

 

Here is a recent video of  me and my former teacher, Chester Rowell, sightreading duets.  My playing is far from perfect, being that I'm sightreading while, at the same time, maneuvering the Toggle mechanism.  I'm getting rather proficient on this nw system, but, admittedly, in sghtreading, the brain wants to revert to the fingerings I played for twenty years.

 

 

In September 2012, I talked to the sax studio of University of Houston, and showed them my instrumement. After talking for about twenty minutes, Professor Dan Gelok and I played a duet for the class.  In hindsight,  I think we probably should have tuned. :D and I certainly could have used the stand a bit higher.

 

 

Why do I teach? 

I love music.  As Freidrich Nietzche  put it, " Without music, life would be a mistake."
 The more I learned, and more skilled I became on my instrument; the easier making music became for me, the more enjoyment I received from making music. Simply put, I teach because I seek to help students find that same love of music that I have.  I hope to help students better themselves on their instruments and in their understanding of music to make music an even more enjoyable aspect of their lives. Not everyone loves music.  While I hope that each of my students will grow to love music/playing their instrument, I don't try to force it upon them.  It is important to let them find their own path in life.  I have lost a number of good students, over the years, to non-music endeavors, but I always try to leave my love of music out of the equation and not pressure them to stick with it if it is not where their heart is.

 

 

April 13th 2013, I gave a presentation at the regional conference of NASA (North American Saxophone Alliance) As part of my presentation, my good friend Seth Mcadow and I played a duet to demonstrate my instrument.

 

  The video camera was forgotten, but we recorded the duet at a later date.  Here is the first movement.