My Story

My Story 2017-05-25T19:11:33+00:00

We all face multiple challenges in our teaching lives, whether it’s the inundation of testing, or the pulling out of students during rehearsal time, or the sheer lack of rehearsal time. Or, we may struggle with support from administration – the list goes on.

Sometimes, the thing that is invisible to the outside world is who we are as teachers and what has shaped us. Often, invisible to the outside world is the profound impact we have on the children and teens we see on a daily basis, as we work with them on something as personal and intimate as creating music. We are helping these students to form thousands of new neurological connections, balancing all the disciplines of music creation into something we hope will become second nature to them over time. It is a language they have had all along, and all they need is someone to guide them toward its beauty – its intrinsic value – and let it loose in the world around them so that they can see their own beauty and worth through their own eyes.

We are music makers. And we have our own histories and accomplishments that make us the music makers and teachers we are today.

My own achievements have shaped the music I create today. You will not find this particular list of achievements on another profile, and this is good. Each composer has a unique set of skills and accomplishments which shape their voice.

Although I have a bio that lists accomplishments more recognized in the field of composition, these accomplishments will not change My Story.

“I Can Walk Again”

I think this has shaped me as much as any other achievement in my life. Back in the early 90’s, it was hard to find a surgeon that would replace the hips of a nineteen year old. Yet, my mother persevered and found a great doctor out of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York. He took a weekend retreat before my surgery to clear his mind and study my unique case. That summer, I had the surgery and for the third time in my life, I learned how to walk. (At age 7, I overcame collapsed vertebrae, and relearned how to walk for the second time.)

This experience has given me the strength to overcome many challenges in my life. Now that I am married and a parent, it has also given me another gift. I would do anything for my daughters, just as my mother did what she had to do to find a way for me to walk again.

“Love Who You Are First, then Love the People Around You”

I believe my identity is a blessing. My identity has been a natural evolution – nurtured by an incurable childhood illness, an absentee father, and the loving unyielding strength of a woman who is my beautiful mother. When you nurture your inner nature, your spirit becomes a visible presence, allowing it to live, breathe and flourish, while destroying that which is of decline, decay and numbness.

I will always be “Daddy” to my daughters and identify with the birth name my mother chose for me – the name I’ve always known. My gender is unique and my spirit is strong. I strive to live my life as an example of someone embracing that which has been bestowed upon them to find peace and happiness from within.

To live with the presence of my true spirit – that spirit which has annihilated obstacles in its path – is the way I’ve found true strength and happiness.

“Dies Magna Requiem”IMG_0073

The first year my 9/11 requiem was prepared and performed, we raised over $11,000 for local veterans in need through the performances. I was humbled to receive the 2010 Person of the Year in the Arts from the local newspaper and then the local Lions Club, but the most meaningful recognition came from my choir. At our final performance, my Long Island Voices choir gave me this plaque to commemorate the achievement. Long Island Voices has gone on to perform Dies Magna Requiem on the 10th anniversary of September 11th, and will hopefully be performing it again, with its new orchestration and final movement. Many of my singers have continued to volunteer to sing with me and for our veterans.  That very first performance of Dies Magna Requiem and the friends who sang with me in that choir will always be very special to me.

“Greatest Achievement: My true happiness is my wife and our children”Choral Programming Ideas

Sometimes the music in your life presents itself through the spirit of the people around you. My family is my true happiness. They are the oxygen in the fresh air of the world around me.

I first sought happiness from within. Then, Melissa came into my life. Soon after, our lives and our joys became inseparable, and through that came the beauty of two remarkable girls, Zoë and Kiera.

“The journey continues!”

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The Present

The Present

If you are depressed,
You are living in the past.
If you are anxious,
You are living in the future.
If you are at peace,
You are living in the present.
-Lao Tzu

TRANSITIONS

TRANSITIONS

Click for My Thoughts on Transition

To Discover

To Discover

Explore,
Dream,
Discover.
–Mark Twain

MY STORY

MY STORY

Click for My Story

The Mirror

The Mirror

The mind is everything.
What you think you become.
–Buddha

MY LIFE IN PICTURES

MY LIFE IN PICTURES

Click for My Story Through Images