"Last Monday, I announced to my students that I will be starting a new chapter of my career next year as a full-time composer, arranger, publisher, and clinician. As you’ll see below, this decision was one of the hardest I’ve ever made.
First off, I cannot say enough kind things about my students and colleagues at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School. They have been and continue to be such an inspiration to me musically and personally. They challenge me and fulfill me as a teacher and human in ways I never could’ve imagined. Whoever steps into my role next academic year will undoubtedly feel the same way.
I do not see this as a departure from education at all, but rather the opportunity to create repertoire and resources for teachers and students in a more intentional and impactful way. Some might ask, “Wasn’t this always your plan to only be a full-time composer?” Not at all. My first ever dream-job from the age of 5 or 6 was to be an educator. (Ask anyone in my family. MANY cringy stories about that.) After music found me in 4th grade, my dream was then to be a band director. I always felt (and still feel) that being an educator is one of the most noble and critical professions in any society, and I am deeply thankful to have lived that dream. As I have had so many impactful experiences through composing, conducting, and publishing, it’s been clear that my largest impact on the world of music education is from the writing side. (See why I consider this decision one of the hardest I’ve ever made? Walking away from your dream job is VERY hard!)
Make no mistake - this new chapter is both incredibly exciting and extremely terrifying. Ultimately, the terrifying option was what I felt had the best impact and challenged me professionally. With the love and support from John, my family, and countless friends and colleagues, I’m ready to make this leap.
While I’m excited for next year, we still have so many incredible things in the works with the HIES Bands. I’ve told my students that we’re not slowing down, but pressing the accelerator as the semester goes on. I’m wide-awake, fully-caffeinated, and ready to make some great musical moments!
Much love to my fellow teachers and I look forward to finding ways to help you and your students make positive musical moments together. "