Background + Context
First Person narrative.
I was born in Pueblo, Colorado and grew up in Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. After getting my undergraduate degree at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, IA, I moved to the Twin Cities in 1975 where I have established my practice and studied composition at the University of Minnesota with Dominick Argento, Eric Stokes, Paul Fetler and Susan McClary.
My music is used in everyday settings where performer and audience participate: schools and faith communities. Some of the repertoire is designed to accompany arts experiences: theater, dance, film, and sound environments. On the rare occasion, compositions are performed in featured listening experiences with orchestras, recitals, opera productions, house parties and concerts.
Performing is important because I maintain the physical and social connection of music-making: I conduct and play cello, usually in chamber groups and with an immersive arts band, Paris1919. I record and tour with creative artists like pianist Lorie Line and performing for History Theater of St. Paul productions.
I champion the creative process as a producer of recordings, concerts and festivals and as a consultant to businesses like Hampton Inn, Target and numerous nonprofits.
I advocate for composers at every opportunity. I served in leadership roles at three national composer service organizations for 25 years (1978-2003). I originally proposed and lobbied for the consolidation of the groups and it eventually happened. New Music USA (formerly Meet the Composer) took over the new music journal (NewMusicBox) and funding programs of the American Music Center; the AMC disbanded; and the American (formerly Minnesota) Composers Forum took on the national membership services formerly run by the AMC. I express my advocacy now as a teacher at MacPhail Center for Music and through Junior Composers summer camp for young musicians and their annual alumni festival, EVERYEAR.