During my undergrad, I earned a B.M. in Music Education and a Performance Certificate from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam and graduated with honors in performance. My passion for performing has led to some of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. I’ve made it a point to perform in a wide variety of groups and each genre holds a special place in my heart. Throughout my entire career at Crane, I performed with the Crane Percussion Ensemble. In this ensemble I honed my craft as we premiered new works and played the classics. Under the direction of Jim Petercsak both in the ensemble and in private lessons, I refined my technique and expanded the boundaries of my imagination until they were virtually limitless. At Crane I studied percussion under Jim Petercsak, Daryle Redmond, and Catherine Munier. I also had the pleasure to attend an orchestral timpani master class with Mark Yancich from the Altana Symphony Orchestra.
My first large ensemble experience at Crane was with the Symphonic Band conducted by Dr. Brian Doyle. In my second year, my placement audition landed me in the Crane Wind Ensemble, the school’s premiere wind band. Under the baton of Dr. Doyle once again, this group performed, premiered, toured with, and recorded some of the hardest ensemble literature I’ve ever had to play. As the section leader of this ensemble in the 2015-2016 school year, I cultivated a knack for determining how to arrange instruments, assign parts, and keep track of gear. My orchestral experience began with the Crane Symphony Orchestra, which boasted the schools highest-placed winds, brass, and percussionists. In this ensemble I learned what it meant to be exact in all aspects of your playing. I also had the privilege of performing under the baton of Maestro Kenneth Andrews in the Orchestra of Northern New York, a professional orchestra based in upstate New York. In the Spring of 2016 I performed with the Crane Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Duain Wolfe, at Carnegie Hall. This performance included the world premiere of a work composed by Gary Fry.
Under the direction of Brett Zvacek, I performed with Crane’s Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Band. IN these ensembles I developed my groove, time, and style while playing a wide range of music from west coast cool jazz to the classics from times past. I also was accepted as the drummer for the Giroux Honors Combo. This 5 piece ensemble was chosen from the entire jazz program and received spots in masterclasses, concerts, and recording sessions. In this group I learned how to develop a group sound as we tackled hard bop tunes and barreled our way through Joshua Redmond charts and threw a hip-hop spin into Coltrane’s Syeeda’s Song Flute and Charlie Parker’s Donna Lee.
In my sophomore year I found a new genre of music about which I have grown extremely passionate. When I auditioned into the Latin Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Marsha Baxter and Dr. Peter McCoy, I didn’t know how much I’d grow to love it. In this ensemble I began as a rhythm section extra and then moved to play timbales in a band which focused on mambo music such as that played by Tito Puente, the Mambo Legends Orchestra, and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra. Every semester the band would tour and perform in cities such as Albany, Syracuse, and New York City. In the Spring of 2017, the ensemble flew down to Cienfuegos, Cuba for a cultural exchange with the University of Cienfuegos. We performed a concert at the University and sat in with local master musicians at venues throughout the city. Off all the things I took home from Cuba, the most valuable is the Cuban understanding of rhythms in music, something I will cherish forever.
If you’d like to hear more about any of these experiences, check the blog tab on this webpage, or feel free to contact me personally and ask.