I grew up in Ashtabula, Ohio, located on Lake Erie’s scenic coastline. My favorite part of my childhood was playing basketball every moment that I could. I have always loved to be active. I eventually got really into rock climbing. I have had some phenomenal climbs at New River Gorge in West Virginia and Smith Rock in Oregon. I love putting all of my energy and strength into scaling a peak and then reaping the reward of getting to see a breathtaking view—that’s an awesome rush.
In some ways, rockclimbing is not that unlike performing with the BSO. We work really hard to reach a goal. When that hard work and expertise come together for a live concert performance, it is the ultimate “mountain top experience!” When I first performed for the BSO, I felt like I was finally starting my career. Already, there have been so many memorable moments—like the time the BSO performed on live TV for a Ravens game! It was crazy to have cameras in my face while playing for 70,000 people. In moments like those, I’m so glad that I never gave up on my career. There were times when I thought about doing something else due to the stress of going through the audition process so many times. I kept at it and was fortunate enough to end up in a place I can be for my entire career.
I got to know my girlfriend, Beth, and her young boys, Landon and Broden, about the same time that I started with the BSO. So I got a new job and a new family all at the same time! It’s been really cool to get the opportunity to share my interests with Beth and her sons. I love them because they give me a purpose (other than playing timpani!). The perfect day for our family is to go exhaust ourselves outside and then come in for a huge meal and watch a movie we all enjoy. I love being with my family.
A new family and a new “BSO family”...what a year!