Preferred Student Age: 10.
Preferred Student Level: Beginner.
How long have you been on faculty at Sherwood?
Briefly describe your musical pursuits outside Sherwood.
I have a private saxophone and clarinet studio in the northern suburbs. For many years, I was on the teaching staff at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). I have performed and recorded with the Elgin Symphony and have performed solo recitals throughout Chicago and the U.S.
What do you want to impart to your students through your teaching?
I want for students to understand and love the expressive qualities of the saxophone and to show them how to perform in an engaging style.
Are there specific methods or techniques that you use in your teaching that may be important to share with prospective students?
I begin students with a melodic approach concentrating on simple tunes, smoothness of tone and continued reinforcement of basic rhythm patterns.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I enjoy seeing good students become their own teachers able to make their own artistic decisions, and I enjoy watching all students maximize their own abilities. I also love hearing long-term progress, from beginner to artist.
What is your earliest musical experience or best musical memory?
My best musical memory is performing a full recital at Sherwood in 2005, on which I included a performance of the Hindemith Concertpiece for two alto saxophones with a former student from UIC, Scott Sobczak. I did not believe the Hindemith would elicit a particularly enthusiastic response from the audience, but it received the strongest applause among the six pieces, which was a thrill to share with one of my students.
Please describe one of your favorite teachers.
I was blessed to learn from two teachers who precisely understood my needs. Dr. Steven Mauk of Ithaca College taught me to be a good saxophonist, and Dr. Frederick Hemke of Northwestern University taught me to be a good performer.
What is your favorite type of music?
I love music from all eras, but I am partial to composers such as Ralph VaughanWilliams, Paul Hindemith, Ned Rorem, and John Philip Sousa, outstanding composers in their own right who have shown an appreciation of the beauty of the saxophone.