Instrument: Double Bass
With the RPO since: 2005
Hometown: Clymer, PA
Non-RPO activities and hobbies: Chamber music with Gibbs & Main and playing guitar
What music school did you attend, and who were your most inspirational teachers? Duquesne University, BM, where I studied with Jeffrey Turner, Principal Bass of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; Eastman School of Music, MM, where I studied with James VanDemark. I also studied with Robert Zimmerman of the RPO. All three of these teachers not only taught me how to play the bass but how to act. Each lesson was a life lesson and I am grateful for that.
Favorite books/movies: Book: A Bed of Red Flowers by Nelofer Pazira; Movie: Spaghetti Westerns like Fist Full of Dollars
What kinds of music do you enjoy listening to? Classical, of course, new music, anything experimental, all jazz, alt-anything, bluegrass, Latin, blues, Indian.
And if you had to pick just one, what’s your favorite piece? Beethoven's seventh symphony. It was the first piece of classical music I fell in love with.
People would be surprised to know… that my bass has performed with the orchestra longer than I have. It was owned by several RPO members including Oscar Zimmerman, the late principal bassist. It has survived two different players falling with it and a fire. I believe all its cracks and marks add character, thus making a better sound.
What do you most enjoy about living in the Rochester area? The arts and cultural events.
What are your favorite restaurants in Rochester, and why? Natural Oasis – great comfort and sharing food. The Brighton – for burgers and sweet potato fries after the big concerts. Thali of India – Sunday Buffet.
The RPO is essential to the Rochester community because… it inspires, it comforts, it raises questions, it upholds a legacy. The breadth of a full orchestra's sound leaves people in awe. 60-80 musicians all working as one down to the tiniest fraction of a second. There is music that makes you laugh, music that makes you cry. Music that defied dictators and music that brought people and nations together. In the dead of winter you can experience the sounds of nature and in the heat of summer you can be traveling down whitewater rapids. It inspires creativity and play in children while proving the American dream. If you work hard enough, someday you can make it to whatever stage you desire.
What sports team(s) do you root for? It would have to be Pittsburgh for everything.
Favorite late-night snack: If I could, I would eat cookies all the time.
What is your favorite way to spend your day off? On my motorcycle. No plans, no itinerary, just the open road and wind through my hair. In the winter I daydream about doing this.
What is your most memorable musical experience? Performing Mahler 2 with our new music director. I'm proud of that one.