Nationwide Music Tour 1973
Growing up in a musical family was a blessing because I wanted to be a part of music making from an early age. Pretty much every day after school, my older brother and sister would start jamming out of song books by the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, etc. as well as hymn books and fake books covering many styles of music. Since my siblings already played several instruments, I found myself tapping along with the beat and at age 10, started taking drum set and marimba lessons. I loved it and was soon part of the daily jam sessions in our living room!
Within a couple of years, I was playing in rock bands with school mates and by age 14 was asked to play on an album recording with a popular college gospel group. That same year, I had the honor of playing drums for our worship band at church which backed up a 50 voice teen choir. I also auditioned for my high school jazz band and by the grace of God, beat out a senior to do it. During that same time period, I played live concerts with professional gospel groups on tour through our town. What I absolutely believe is that God had his hand on my life in those early days, as well as all of the days since then!
God continued to pour out his blessings during my high school and college years. I graduated from world-renowned Interlochen Arts Academy in 1974 and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in music from Olivet Nazarene University in 1980. In 1973, as I entered my senior year at Interlochen, out of the blue I was asked to play drums for a Christian touring group called “Lost and Found” to represent the General Church of the Nazarene. This was a real honor and somewhat of a miracle because everyone else in the group except me were required to audition as college students. Yet I wasn’t a college student and wasn’t asked to audition. Some might say I was just plain lucky, but I believe God had his hand in it yet again!
Since those early years, my life has traveled somewhat of a circuitous path. During my 20’s, in addition to music I became hooked on tennis. I passed all the tests, became certified by the USPTA, and began teaching tennis in racquet clubs, mainly in the Chicago area. I also began playing music in nightclubs for fun and to make extra money. But as a young husband and father with two little girls, I also allowed myself to become a “wishy washy” Christian. And after ten years of marriage, I found myself going through a horrible divorce. Although the experience was unwanted and just about tore my heart out as well as those of my children, I know that not being the strong spiritual leader of my home I should have definitely played a part in what happened.
With the help of some good friends, I relocated to Nashville in 1988 to get a fresh start. I started attending a Nazarene church where I met a beautiful girl from Kansas who eventually became my wife (another miracle from the Lord). We dated while I was still spending as much time with my daughters as the court would allow. In fact, among other godly virtues, it was this Kansas farm girl’s love for my two daughters that made me fall so deeply in love with her. We married and in time welcomed two beautiful daughters of our own. Although the pain of divorce and loss was still there, God had mercy on me and due to nothing I deserved, gave me a wonderful Christian wife and family. And as a family, we became actively involved in church including choir, orchestra, sunday school, kid’s bible quizzing, and more. I was and still am determined to stay close to God and not allow Satan to steal away the wonderful family that God, in his mercy, has blessed me with!
In 1991, I earned a masters degree in counseling/psychology from Tennessee State University (summa cum laude) and since that time have had the privilege of counseling at different mental health centers, teaching for various middle Tennessee colleges, and writing songs for a Nashville music company. In 2000, I was featured in Christian Musician magazine and heralded for my drumming skills by Will Denton, then drummer for Steven Curtis Chapman. In 2005, as a member of the Nashville Praise Symphony, I played drums, timpani, and other percussion instruments on their recording project titled Symphony of Worship. In 2017, I released my first hammered dulcimer recording project titled Acoustic Christmas and in 2020, my second hammered dulcimer project titled One Wintry Night. In 2023, I released two vocal projects of mostly original songs, one titled Christian Collection and the other titled Folk Collection.
Currently, I continue to write and record Praise & Worship music, Christmas music, as well as other original songs in various styles of music. I am very passionate about protecting and advancing religious and personal freedom, traditional family values, and integrity and ethical behavior in education and government, especially with regard to public service (e.g. elected offices). Overall, I feel that my “big-picture”calling by God is to use my gifts and my life to bless others and to be an agent of reconciliation and grace.