"I try to help students become aware of how much there is out there in any given field. In the orchestration courses I teach, I have a listening list, and students take an exam based on that listening list at some point during the semester. The list is long; it might be a hundred pieces or more. . . . There is a sense in which it is asking too much—to be able to identify any of the pieces from 30-second excerpts. On the other hand, if students take the assignment seriously and listen to half a dozen to a dozen pieces a day—just getting to know some of the themes in the piece—perhaps they will realize what they may have thought was a lake of music is really an ocean, or several oceans."
President of Rhythm, Rhyme, Results, an educational rap music company
CEO and creative director of Belvedere Productions, a music production company specializing in educational materials
Guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic; the Cleveland Orchestra; the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the National Symphony (Washington, D.C.); the symphonies of San Francisco, Toronto, Houston, and Dallas; and the Boston Pops
Undergraduate work in film scoring, Berklee College of Music
Graduate studies in classical composition and music theory, Boston University
Commissions and performances from many professional solo artists and performing ensembles, including the New Millennium Ensemble, Alea III, Boston Composers String Quartet, Tapestry, Krousis, Pandora's Vox, Ives Quartet, Seraphim Singers, as well as on National Public Radio and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Cofounder of Crosscurrents, a new music platform dedicated to performing the works of young and emerging composers
"Our courses are designed to give students a foundation in classical music and theory, and in conducting. These are skills they learn that they can apply to all kinds of music, both classical and pop. They're learning something about themselves in terms of leadership and in terms of how they present themselves in front of people. I always tell them that these are basic people skills as well as specifically musical skills they're learning."
"In the composition courses I teach, we're dealing with a body of knowledge that dates back a couple of centuries, so I try to show the connection to more recent compositions. 'Over the Rainbow,' for example, fits into an eighteeth-century European structure almost perfectly. After we analyze it in class, I make the point that it's one of the most commercially successful pieces of songcraft that has ever been created. We start talking about why that's true, and that its elements, in terms of organization and melody, are also true for a Beatles tune or a piece by Bach. Those all have universal elements of construction that are effective and timeless."