Playwrights, Composers, Lyricists and Authors
I was born in Redondo Beach, California in 1965. My mother told me I started playing the piano as soon as I was able to reach the piano keyboard. By third grade I was very interested in classical music, specifically the piano concertos of Beethoven, Grieg, Tchaikovsky and Mozart. I wrote my first song about Kimba, my white German shepherd dog, and performed it for my third grade class. In high school I was very determined to compose and stubbornly wrote my first high school band piece called March at the Beach, although my high school teachers were opposed to my aspirations. With no help from my band teacher, I searched for another teacher at different school to critique my new work.
After graduating from high school, I attended DeVry Institute to become an electrical engineer, and was extremely good at it but left the profession knowing that I didn't want to go through life with a calculator in my pocket. I went to piano tuning school, became a good tuning technician and had been out of high school for two years when I received a call from my future writing partner, Paul Collette. He asked if I would help him teach chorus classes at my former high school. It seems that the teacher who had never encouraged my musical growth was being forced to resign and I was being asked to help teach his classes. It was poetic justice for me.
It did not take me long to discover that teaching students to sing and becoming a music director was my true calling. By 1987 Paul Collette and I had written our first musical, Toy Camp, a charming piece enjoyed by our audience of friends and family, who also encouraged us to publish it. In 1995 it won the Shubert Fendrich Memorial Playwriting Contest award. After receiving my bachelor’s degree and teaching credential from California State University, Long Beach, I began teaching and composing at many different schools and venues.
I currently teach choir at Thousand Oaks High School and am a Music Director and Commissioned Music Composer at Santa Monica Community College. My other works include Metaphasia, Alice and the Trials of Wonderland, Thumbelina, Dracula Continuum and Tibet. In 1999 my musical Vanya was awarded first place for musical composition at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. I am currently working on a musical about the human spirit, Silent Heart; where the main character is an eleven year old girl who was born mute when her mother died in child-birth.