Years as a camper: 2-3
Current Profession and Title: Conductor/Music Director
Can you provide a brief overview of your career path?
I studied engineering at Princeton University, but I played in the orchestra there. I had a lot of experience playing in an orchestra so that was a very natural environment for me. I migrated into music and conducting, and that’s what I’ve been doing for 25 years. I’m very excited to now be working with the North Carolina Symphony, which serves every county in the state. It has a strong educational focus as an orchestra that really serves the community, more than any other I’ve known. I’m a very strong believer in music education. The North Carolina Symphony really provides an amazing service to the state.
What goals are you currently working on?
I have a goal to establish a strong footing in North Carolina like I have in New Orleans. To learn - from the people, the culture, the history of the place - and make it part of my life and take it elsewhere. I’m a firm believer that music is an opportunity to connect people. I believe in the social component of music. I do a lot of outreach and education, helping underserved communities and bridging the classical and popular. Doing what I do well more effectively is a goal – bringing the joy of music, using music to bridge boundaries. I did a tour in Ukraine that included musicians from the U.S., Latin America, Russia and Ukraine. It was hugely successful and positive. Learning for me is an obsession. If a place has a rhythm I don’t understand, I jump in and find out what makes it unique in order to understand and incorporate it into my language.
Can you describe your leadership style?
I like giving people the opportunity and freedom to realize projects. There shouldn’t be one person deciding everything. I’m very open and collaborative and take suggestions. I like finding people who have something to say and empowering them to be creative. An orchestra is an extraordinary collection of talent and I work to ensure that collective can flourish. There’s nothing like empowering people.
Do you have any career advice for members of our Camp community?
If you have a dream, believe in it with a vengeance. Never think that there are limits. Most of the limits we have are self-imposed. Pursue your own dreams and believe in yourself. Our minds are so much stronger than we imagine them to be.
Favorite Camp food? “American tacos”
Hidden talent? Soccer - in Mexico I wasn’t necessarily good, but at the time no one was really playing soccer in the U.S. I remember scoring 25 goals and being very proud.
What three words best describe you? Curious, workaholic, active