The Personal Stuff
I learned my lesson a few years ago when I had my students guess my age and they all came in way above the actual number - I was born in 1964 in Albany, NY where I grew up and played in the Albany Symphony from age 15-18. During my junior year of high school, I began driving to Boston to study with Ed Barker, principal bass of the Boston Symphony. He was my model and I hold him and his playing in the highest regard.
I studied with Ed at New England Conservatory and graduated in 1987. Although I had plenty of free-lance work when I graduated, I was kind of surprised that a major orchestra job didn't land in my lap right away. Free-lancing gave me a chance to get a lot of experience and to add a little humility to my toolkit.
It also gave me the chance meet Tracy Rowell, whom I married just before we moved to Canada to play in the National Arts Centre Orchestra. In the space of 12 months, we got new jobs, got married, moved from the city to a log cabin in the Canadian wilderness (well across the street from a national park) and then to the suburbs, had a baby and bought a minivan.
Three years later, we left Ottawa for Cleveland. Tracy now teaches at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Akron. I used to think that she was really lucky to have so many good students until it dawned on me that she is an incredible teacher. She free-lances in Cleveland and plays with groups such as Apollo's Fire and CityMusic Cleveland.
We now live in Cleveland Heights with our 5 children ages 2 - 13.