Originally from: Lake Orion, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit
Previous experience: Fellow with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. Guest principal for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and has played for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and National Arts Centre Orchestra (Canada). Numerous music festivals include Lake Tahoe SummerFest, Tanglewood and Verbier Festival in Switzerland.
Education: The Juilliard School and Eastman School of Music
Oboe is one of the quirkiest instruments. Why did you choose it?
I chose the oboe because I thought it was a bassoon! I do not come from a family of classical musicians, and I really wasn’t sure what each instrument was when I had to choose one in fifth grade. I thought it would be cool to play a really big instrument with a low range. It wasn’t until weeks later when the instrument arrived that I realized the mix-up. I was very upset! But I gave the oboe a try, and the rest is history.
Why do all double reed players seem to be so obsessed with making reeds?
Reed-making is a blessing and curse. As an oboist, I have so much control over my playing because I essentially build the most important part of my instrument (the reed) to suit my exact needs. However, reed-making is fiendishly difficult. Some parts of the reed must be scraped as thin as 5 micrometers (a piece of paper is around 100 micrometers, for a comparison). I spend at least a couple hours every day making reeds. They have a very short life span, unfortunately, so a completely new batch of reeds is needed week to week.
What fascinates you besides music?
I have always been fascinated by foreign languages. I have taken a couple years each of French, Italian, and American Sign Language, but I always became too distracted by the next language to make any real progress. However, I have studied Spanish most of my life, and it is exciting to be in a place where there are so many Spanish speakers. I hope to be fluent someday!
What excites you about the Tampa Bay area?
As a native Michigander and after going to school in New York, I am absolutely in love with the warm weather in Florida. I made a pact with a friend of mine in New World Symphony to go to the beach once a week and we have succeeded! I hope to continue with this routine and explore the beaches along the gulf.