I have a doctorate in music composition from the University of Northern Colorado where I studied with Paul Elwood and Ludek Drizhal. While working on a master’s degree in music composition I studied with Dan Sonenberg and Jonathan Middleton. I’ve studied composition with Beth Denisch and Adam Larrabee, and I have taken lessons from Jamie Masefield, the late John McGann, and the late Ernie Stires. I studied classical guitar with Silvio dos Santos.
I like to explore different ways of approaching creativity through composition. From the mentors I have learned from - studying composition and instruments - I’ve found different ways to explore, access, and realize my ideas. Recognizing, understanding, and being able to explain the different ways I’ve learned to approach writing has been an important part of this process.
My dissertation - The Ballybriar Heist: An original composition and the incorporation of folk music and tintinnabuli influences - is a 38 minute five-movement work for symphony orchestra. It includes an analysis of the piece. The research portion examines the different ways composers collected, transcribed, recorded, and incorporated folk music into their writing throughout the mid-19th and 20th centuries. It also examines traditional Irish music and its performance practice, and tintinnabuli - a compositional technique developed by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, including analysis of his tintinnabuli pieces.