The Other Bio

Dear students,

Please understand that a career has high points and low points. Sometimes you will find yourself in unusual situations; stay professional, stay positive, and finish the gig.

Below is a list of some of the more “interesting” things I have done over the course of my career.

  • played the opening of a gas station
  • played for Santa, who was being drawn by a team of Harley Davidson motorcycles, while wearing a full toy soldier costume
  • adjudicated a solo twirler in competition
  • played a solo trumpet fanfare on the roof of a 6 story building outside during a bitter Minnesota winter
  • led a pep band for a debate tournament
  • played conch shell through guitar effects pedals
  • had my valves freeze solid during a marching band half time performance
  • rode to an out-of-state gig in the back of a U-Haul*
  • played solo accordion on a ticketed show
  • sang lead vocals with a rock band for 2 months
  • performed music for aerial acrobats
  • my first pop arrangement was Walk Like An Egyptian
  • busked on natural trumpet in Central Park
  • played an Atari 2600 (Missile Command) solo in concert
  • played while my trumpet was on fire
  • can be heard on Jessee Ventura’s We Rocked The World album
  • arrived after a concert at a country bar in rural Texas wearing a tuxedo while sporting a pony tail
  • accidentally showed up to a session with an empty case
  • skipped theory class in college to practice
  • played a trumpet with chopsticks, drumsticks and a reciprocating saw*
  • there are still two small dents in my first cornet (ca. 1980) from when I hung it out of my mouth by my two front teeth
  • was the assistant director for a scene in an independent film
  • the only time Stanley Crouch has heard me play, I was playing drums
  • I was the musical director (and conductor) of a university production of the Kander and Ebb flop, Steel Pier
  • played alphorn professionally while wearing green and black lederhosen
  • won my only trophy in 1981 at a Yamaha organ competition
  • toured on the road before smart phones
  • recorded on the cowbell
  • an elderly man died while dancing to the music we were playing
  • worked as an ASCAP investigator at a strip club outside of Des Moines
  • taught choir
  • played with a glam rock band while dressing as one of the Droogs from Clockwork Orange
  • acted, danced and sang the part of the scarecrow in a full production of The Wiz
  • got kicked out of practicing next to the Sydney Opera house
  • my first jazz gig was on trumpet AND piano
  • adjudicated a marching band (one of many); they marched an electric bass with the amp in a red Radio Flyer wagon
  • played the trombone on a gig
  • was practicing in the back seat of a car parked in a Walmart parking lot at the stroke of 12:00am on New Year’s eve
  • spun my truck off the interstate at about 70mph after a concert in a snowstorm (ok, that actually happened twice)
  • played my horn too soon after getting all 4 of my molars removed; blew out one of the sockets
  • forgot my horn and my tux on a gig
  • hosted the Kountry Kickers Clogging Team on a performance series
  • played a Fourth of July parade on the back of a semi trailer
  • played solo trumpet accompaniment for a children’s book reading
  • oiled my trumpet’s valves with beer
  • played countless Elks and Moose Clubs in rural Nebraska
  • wore a Mohawk for 5 years
  • and finally, I have NEVER smoked a cigarette. (but, I ate one once…)


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again,

The secret to longevity in a music career is to do it for a long time.


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