Writing a bio for a web site surely involves making a long story into a short one. I have experienced many of the events and feelings people my age (72) have had in their lifetimes. I’ve done some traveling; experienced the 1960’s quite fully (ha!); been passionately involved in humanistic-political activity; fallen in love a few times; maintained important friendships; have a great marriage with my best friend, and married into a great family. I’ve helped raise two children, of whom I am immensely proud; became a grandfather twice, experienced and survived the passing of my parents, family members, and close friends; and stayed close with my sisters. After a circuitous start, I got a good education and earned three degrees (BM in music, M.Ed. in Expressive Therapies, Psy.D in clinical psychology), and developed a profession as a psychologist that gives me great satisfaction. I made a home for myself and family and found a great community to live in. Learning to love, accept and respect others continues to be a life’s work, and, did I mention falling in love again (grandchildren)? And let me not forget witnessing the Red Sox world series win in 2004. Again, like most people my age, there has been some heartache and disappointment, and for those times, you can always cope by picking up the horn to play the blues.
Throughout these times and events, the love and practice of music has always been a constant. I was comfortable performing in front of others as a little boy, and as I grew, I learned to sing, play piano, and then play the trombone at age 11. Playing trombone is an everyday part of my life, and if I don’t play, I start having ominous trombone dreams. Composing and arranging music for others began early in my life and has always been driving force within my creativity. An earlier stage of my clinical work involved helping de-institutionalized adults find pleasure and safety in improvising music, and that interest further evolved to help classical musicians find ways of playing music not on the printed page.
I’ve always been a fairly eclectic person, with many interests and an avoidance of dogma, which comes out in my clinical work, my relations with others, and especially in the music I make. My musical life has seen me playing in rock bands, salsa bands, big bands, wedding bands, blues bands, Dixieland bands, symphony orchestras, brass quintets, chamber groups, and I’ve presented three recitals and two CD release concerts. I briefly played under the baton of Herbert Von Karajan, backed up Chuck Berry, traded fours with Slide Hampton, played at Birdland in my sister’s band, and recorded for the projects of others. It remains so gratifying to make music in formats that have ranged from just me to 11 pieces and I will continue to do this. I have the pleasure of being included in the jazz community of the Burlington area, and have found some good music friends/colleagues beyond my small town.