Appearances: Les Misérables North American Tour, 2017–19; Hudson Valley Philharmonic; Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich; Philharmonia Zürich; Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; New York City Ballet Orchestra; Aspen Music Festival, 2011–12, ‘14
What is your earliest memory of classical music? Attending a performance of the Ridgewood Concert Band, of which my first teacher and his wife were members.
What do you think orchestra concerts should look like in the 21st Century? While we all feel the pressure to reinvent the orchestral concert experience, I hope instead that we can cultivate a greater appreciation for art and music among young people. To drastically shift how orchestras program and perform makes it seem as though the music is the problem.
Who is your biggest inspiration? At the beginning of my collegiate studies, a few private teachers and ensemble directors had an immense impact on me. Their undying commitment to education and music-making was infectious. They constantly inspired me to both push myself on the instrument, and to seek new knowledge of music in general.
Which composer or genre of music do you feel you connect with the most? The Germanic orchestral and operatic composers had the best sense for how to use the trombone. I connect with these works the most because I feel from them the same love for my instrument’s sound as I have.
What is your favorite piece of music, and why do you love it? Das Rheingold, the first opera in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. From the ethereal opening to the grand ending, the soundscapes and melodies Wagner uses to evoke the universe of the Gods are some of the most satisfying for me.
What has been your favorite experience as a musician? One of my favorite experiences from recent memory was playing Mahler’s 8th Symphony with a regional orchestra in Austria (the Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra). While the performances themselves were a spectacle, I remember more the time spent with the orchestra members. Their hospitality and generosity was amazing even despite our language barrier. It was a refreshing reminder of how powerful music is, and that there are still people in the world with an innate kindness.
Favorite non-classical musician or band: Recently I have been listening to a lot of Frank Sinatra.
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing? Sometimes I am jealous of people who have the weekends free, so any job which offers that would be fine with me.
What is your favorite place you’ve travelled to and why? I enjoyed the year I spent in Zürich, Switzerland. While it is certainly a beautiful city, what made that year so great was all the new friends I made from different parts of the world.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us: I am first generation American and have dual citizenship with the United Kingdom.
Piece of advice for a young classical musician: Listen to different composers or styles of music, especially the ones you think you don’t like. You will surprise yourself with how much you can learn to love music.