I began my music education at Chicago's Visitation Grade School playing drums in the 5th grade band under the direction of Frank Manna (the retired director of the Marist High School Band). I attended Reavis High School, graduated, and then joined the Air Force as a nuclear weapons specialist. After the service, I then attended DePaul University to study percussion and jazz performance. I have since received a Master of Music Education degree from VanderCook College of Music and completed 32+ hours of post graduate work.
After college, I pursued many musical endeavors including leading my own jazz group, studio teaching, playing in the pit for many area stage musicals, and working as free lance percussion instructor at Marist, Brother Rice, St. Laurence and Carl Sandburg High Schools. It was during this period that I began a ten year term as the band director at Queen of the Universe Grade School in Chicago. In 1995 I became the band director at North Palos School District 117 and I have been the director of the Palos South Middle School Band program since 1999. Currently I am director of the 5th grade beginning band, 6th grade Cadet Band, the 7th grade Concert Band, and 8th grade Wind Ensemble. I also direct a 30 member jazz ensemble, a Performing Arts Ensemble, a 100 piece percussion ensemble (à la Stomp), and direct lights, sound, and music for the annual school musical. In addition, I am the advisor to PSMS chapter of the internationally known Tri-M Music Honor Society.
I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Eloise, since 1978. We have two children; one human boy child named Tony (NIU music major) and one four legged boy named Buddy.
Even though I am a music educator by vocation, much of my inspiration comes from performing. I have performed with many groups and shared the stage with many notables as KC and The Sunshine Band, The Supremes, The Gap Band, ZZ Top, The Doobie Brothers, and Smash Mouth. Locally, I have performed with the Oak Lawn Theatre Group producing six Broadway style musical shows each season. In previous seasons we have performed such popular musicals as Evita, Grease, Guys & Dolls and Joseph. I am currently performing with the Southwest Community Band based in Homer Glen.
As you can see, I have a pretty full plate outside of the school day, but receive my biggest joy from teaching young musicians to be good musicians.