I was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is where I live and work.
I showed talent at an early age. My father, a musician of considerable accomplishment (organized, arranged and conducted music for social dancing and ran his own recording studio) was the one who noticed my ability. From my father I learned to appreciate both classical music and jazz.
I took piano lessons and for a while studied the trumpet. I found that improvising was what exerted the greatest gravitational pull on me. Little did I know how it would serve me in the years to come.
I went to the Philadelphia Musical Academy (now the University of the Arts) and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in musical composition.
During my student career I had many good instructors. But three stand out. Andrew Rudin was my compositions teacher. I learned a great deal from him about how things are put together inside a piece of music. Most of all, though, was his passionate love and connectedness with music and how it can change experience.
I learned theory from Donald Chittum. From this study I learned to look beyond the surface details of a piece of music and appreciate its inner architecture (or the lack thereof) and to look at the minute details and how they compare to the whole. It added an intellectual comprehension to what I sensed by intuition.
I studied ear training with Jan Krzywicki. He was demanding but fair-ultimately giving me tools that I use daily in my work.
I found that working with dance both afforded me a means of making a living and using my particular musical gifts to serve my community.
I played my first class in 1971. But I did not stick with it and develop this as a career until after my graduation in 1980.
Through the years since that time I have worked as an accompanist at Temple University, the University of the Arts, Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center, Susan Hess Modern Dance, Philadanco and the Rock School of Dance Education. This summer of 2007 was my tenth year at the School of Jacob's Pillow as part of their Contemporary Traditions Project.
As a composer I have worked with Milton Myers, Roni Koresh, Manfred Fischbeck and Gwendolyn Bye, among others.
I was honored to compose and perform the music for two videos on the technique of Lester Horton in collaboration with Ana Marie Forsythe and Marjorie Perces for Kultur Video (these videos were produced by Dance Spotlight.)
In 2004 I was commissioned to compose an electronic score for Milton Myers a for Philadanco’s 35th anniversary concert at the Kimmel Center in the fall of 2004. The work was called a Bit of Kinship and Exoticism.