I am a storyteller.
I love being caught up in the plot and emotions of a good story. Combining that passion with the musical training I have been through has artistically made me what I am today. Whether it is a song, a show, or a symphony, my hope is to convey a fraction of the feelings I experience when encountering a story for the first time.
In the past few years, my focus has been on Musical Theatre and Film Musicals. These genres of telling tales have proven to be the most resonant in my own life and, therefore, I find myself attempting to add my voice to the many who create such wonderful works. To date, I have been a part of three full-length musicals: WHERE FORTUNES LIE (2010 – music, lyrics, book); COOL’S ANGEL – a new telling of the James Dean story (2017 – music and lyrics); and MANSON’S GIRLS (2012 – music). I have also written or collaborated on several 15-minute musicals: CARNIVAL OF SOULS (2011 – music); ONE AFTERNOON ON PLATFORM ‘F’ (2015 – music, lyrics, book); THE GLITCH (2016 – music, lyrics, book) and am currently collaborating on a musical film, UNTO US (working title), as the songwriter.
In my ‘spare time’ I teach Music Composition, Theory, and Songwriting, in the Division of Music at Indiana Wesleyan University, where I began teaching full time in the fall of 2000. My goal as a college educator is to push my students to be always improving abilities through experimenting and finding the limits of their understanding. All the while, I attempt to build and strengthen my personal network so my students have access to the higher levels of the profession when they leave. I also try to provide as many opportunities for my students as possible, often collaborating with them on initial readings, workshops, and studio projects such as recordings like “Off the Beaten Path” – by Nate Beals and the Back Alley Band; and “A Voice, A Piano, A Story, A Song” – the music and lyrics of Todd Syswerda.
I am beyond blessed to be married to a wonderful woman, Dara, and to be the dad of Thane and Laynie.