I was born March 5, 1954 and raised in Cottonwood (now "Holladay"), in Salt Lake County, Utah. I had eight years of classical piano lessons starting at age eight, but I frustrated my teachers because I relied too much on my "ear" instead of reading the music. To this day, although I can read music, I'm not particularly good at "sight reading." But I can play back just about anything I hear. I have been composing and arranging music since the age of 10. In 6th grade, I wrote and arranged a piece for my elementary school orchestra. I recorded my first song in 7th grade. During my early teen years, although I sang in the Ward Choir, I was mostly into instrumental music. In junior high, I played viola in the school orchestra.
In 1971, I attended a concert that changed my life. The University of Utah a'Cappella Choir, directed by Dr. Newell B. Weight, was on tour in Germany, where I happened to be living for a few months. I had never before heard a'Cappella choral music, and it absolutely thrilled me to the core of my soul. That night, I said to my self, "Someday, I'm going to be in that choir." Upon my return to Utah, I signed up for high school concert choir my senior year (Cottonwood High School, class of '72), under the direction of Dr. Morris Lee. Thus began my love affair with choral music. In college, I sang with the University of Utah Concert Chorus under the direction of Dr. Jerold Ottley (yes, THAT Jerold Ottley - before his Tab Choir years) and was assistant conductor of the Salt Lake Institute Concert Choir, under the direction of Brother Paul Hanks. I finally achieved my goal and had the opportunity to sing in the University of Utah A'Cappella Choir under Dr. Weight during my Masters' year of college study. More recently, I was a member of the Northern Utah Chorale Society for several years, singing under Dr.s Will Kessling and Cory Evans. I've been told by many that I am an excellent choral director; I attribute any conducting skills I have to what I learned from observing these masters as I have had the opportunity to sing under their direction.
I taught myself to play the organ. During my mission (Arizona Tempe Mission, 1973-1975), I was assigned to an area (Las Vegas 21st & 29th Wards) that had an exposed Wicks pipe organ. I became so fascinated with it that, during P-Day, when the other missionaries were in the gym playing basketball, I was always in the chapel playing that organ. Thus began my love affair with pipe organs. Since then, I have been the Ward Organist in nearly every ward I've lived in.
In addition to choral and sacred music, I have an interest in classic rock music and play in an oldies rock band called The Fender Benders. I know what you're thinking... quite the contrast from the music on this web site, right? Yes, I have a wide taste in music. But that isn't the worst of it; the band isn't my craziest hobby...