Bio

A fast description of my years.

Growing up

I grew up in Illinois, born in the year of the Gameboy. My favorite things have always been computers and guitars.

I was lucky to attend a public high school with a wonderful arts program. I did everything from writing music for school plays, playing in the marching band and musical pit orchestras, and a being a part of a (now viral) silly talent show performance of the Halo theme song.

First guitar = 1979 Les Paul Silverburst. (Whoa!) Thanks to Uncle Phil.

Schooling

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.

Top, A Very Potter Sequel poster. Bottom, recording “Sunny” in my college living room.

LA

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.

Top, a view of the Santa Monica pier from the Chromatik office. Bottom, the finished Ann St, Soul EP.

Chicago

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.)

Top, the orchestra for Footloose at the Lincolnshire Marriott suburban theatre. Bottom, my wife and sisters on the set of Hamilton with me after a sweaty show.

Soundslice

In 2015 I left Chromatik to join Soundslice as the content director and employee #3.

If you haven’t seen it, Soundslice is a web-based platform that lets you sync sheet music with real recordings. It was founded by Adrian Holovaty and PJ Macklin

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.

Though I don’t work there anymore, I’m still a proud co-owner of the company. If you’ve got question about how to use it with students or fans, I’m glad to chat with you about it.

Top, Adrian and I working out of a space at Reverb.com. Bottom, the team at an In-N-Out Burger before the 2018 NAMM show in Anaheim, CA.

These days

I work as a developer at Mess, a web design agency in Chicago. My projects and comfort zone generally involve Python and Django.

You can usually find me at the Irish music session on Tuesday nights at the Galway Arms in Chicago.

Hup!