Joined TFO: November 2016
Originally from: Norcross, Georgia
Previous experience: Performed with the Savannah Philharmonic, Annapolis Symphony, “Chief’s Own” Air Force Band, Symphony Orchestra Augusta, Orlando Philharmonic, St. Pete Opera, Wintergreen Festival Orchestra and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. Attended the Clarinet Academy of America, the Madeline Island Chamber Music Festival, and the Eastern Music Festival. Received First Prize in the 23-25 age division of the International Great Composers Competition for the 17th and 18th century categories. Currently teaches clarinet at the University of Tampa.
Education: Master’s from the University of Maryland, bachelor’s from the University of Georgia, both in clarinet performance.
At what age did you start playing clarinet and why?
I started playing clarinet when I was 11 in the 6th grade. Actually, trumpet was my first choice, but I couldn’t make a sound! Clarinet worked out much better. I played competitive tennis from age 7-16 and was starting to look at going to college on a tennis scholarship when I hurt my shoulder and had to quit playing all together. At age 16, I started taking clarinet lessons and I got much more serious about it. I loved the sounds of the clarinet and started practicing as much as I possibly could. I also started playing the saxophone around that time and I have been fortunate enough to play the saxophone with the orchestra on many occasions.
What fascinates you besides music?
I am fascinated most by God and his love. I am also fascinated by the people around me, different cultures, and any kind of food I can get my hands on!
What’s a musical experience that changed your life?
My middle and high school band directors were some of the goofiest people I know. Learning how to love music and work with people helped make it worth pursuing. I would have never thought I was good enough to do anything with music if they hadn’t convinced me to go for it.
What is the absolute best part about being a professional musician?
I love that I have the opportunity to play so many different kinds of music day in and day out. Each piece has its own challenges and there is always something new to work on both personally and professionally. It definitely keeps things interesting!
What excites you about The Florida Orchestra?
I am excited (and humbled) by the talent of the musicians in The Florida Orchestra. I sit next to some of the best musicians in the country and they are a pleasure to work with. I am also excited by the future of TFO. With our musicians, staff and patrons all working together, we will make TFO a cultural haven known for diverse programming, musical flexibility and joy. I firmly believe we will lead the charge in pushing classical music into the 21st century.