A fast description of my years.
I grew up in Illinois, born in the year of the Gameboy. My favorite things to do have always been playing with computers and guitars.
I was lucky to attend a public high school that had a wonderful arts program. I did everything from writing music for school plays, playing drums in the marching band, being in the pit for plenty of musicals, and being a part of a (now viral) silly talent show performance of the Halo theme song.
I completed a BFA in jazz guitar performance at the University of Michigan. While there, I explored my interest in playing guitar in musical theatre pit orchestras. It combined my classical music background with my joy of playing popular guitar styles. UM has a fantastic musical theatre department — I was in every show or cabaret that would have me.
The summer after my sophomore year, I played guitar for a student-made parody musical of Harry Potter, “A Very Potter Sequel.” This went completely viral — I remember even seeing a photo of it in a real-world magazine. Fans of Glee will recognize the star as Darren Criss. I've been glad to continue playing the occasional gig for him as a solo artist, and for other Team Starkid productions.
In 2012 after college graduation, I moved to Los Angeles for a job with an iPad-based sheet music startup called Chromatik. It was the early days of sheet music on tablets. I worked in QA, marketing, and ultimately ran our sheet music production team.
At the same time, my college band had gone viral on Reddit for our cover of the soul classic “Sunny.” From that attention, we successfully funded and completed our self-titled EP, Ann Street Soul. Fans of Vulfpeck will recognize the Ann St. singer as Antwaun Stanley.
After a year in LA, I decided to move to Chicago so that I could be closer to both a larger musical theatre market and family. I continued working for Chromatik remotely for a few years longer.
After years of playing musicals in small theatres (and high schools!) I broke into the Union scene. I’ve been lucky and grateful to be a part of some wonderful productions. A highlight to date was being a regular sub in the Chicago production of Hamilton. (For lead guitarist Felton Offard.)
In 2015 I left Chromatik to join Soundslice as the content director and employee #3.
It’s an incredible tool for self-study and teaching, and is trusted by some big organizations including TrueFire, Premiere Guitar and Berklee College of Music. It’s also a valued resources for independent artists looking to sell their own instructional music content. Artists including Mark Lettieri of Snarky Puppy, Synyster Gates of Avenged Sevenfold and Enda Scahill of We Banjo 3.
I’m a proud co-owner of the company. I run our store and marketing: anything that involves video edits, musical transcriptions or artists. Lately, I also do some junior web development.
You can usually find me at the Irish music session on Tuesday nights at the Galway Arms in Chicago.