When did you start playing your instrument?
I started playing trombone in 6th grade, which was one year behind when my elementary school started kids in band. I was a year late because my family moved halfway across the country between my 5th and 6th grade years. I remember the other trombone player loving to correct all the mistakes I made since he already had a year under his belt.
What do you do when you’re not playing in the LSO?
I’m an engineer/environmental scientist for the Environmental Protection Agency, whose regional office is downtown next to the Comcast building. And when I’m not doing that, I’m playing soccer, surfing (or snowboarding in winter), reading/learning all things science, or playing music somewhere.
When, or how, did you come to join the orchestra?
When I moved to Philly for my new job in 2007, I happened upon a great and quite comprehensive list of community orchestras in the area and saw that the LSO was looking for a trombonist.
Do you play in any other musical groups?
I’ve played horn (my preferred instrument to play — better parts!) in Orchestra Society occasionally since 2011 or so, and also play horn in the Lower Merion Symphony. I played bass guitar and sang backing vocals for an indie-pop band called Steve Goldberg and the Arch Enemies for a couple years, which was fun, and still scratch my rock ‘n roll itch by playing bass and drums in an ever-shifting amateur musical group at EPA.
Do you come from a musical family?
Indeed! My mom’s a church organist and studied music in school, and my brother’s a jack-of-all-trades — he plays bass guitar, drums, saxophone, guitar, keys, sings, raps, etc. for several bands around the Charleston, S.C., area. And my dad attempts to sing in church choir (we all joke that we know what side of the family our musical aptitude came from!).
Does the instrument you play on have a story?
Not much of a story, but I’ve had the same trombone since the 8th grade. I still have my first trombone, though, which has a better story: it’s a 1930s-era Conn that my grandfather had played in school. It was hiding in our attic and since I was the oldest son, that’s what I got to play. Coincidentally, my brother’s name is Glenn Miller, so he missed out on instant fame and recognition as a trombonist by being 3 years younger!
Are you originally from Lansdowne/Philadelphia?
Nope — moved here for my job, but glad I did!
Who is your favorite superhero?
Before I worked for EPA I would have said Captain Planet, but now that I actually work in the environmental field, hmm . . . “Green” Lantern?!?