I was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, travelling around the U.S. before my family and I settled in northern California. I enjoyed music at an early age, and took up alto saxophone in 5th grade of elementary school for a year. Both my cousin and older brother were a huge inspiration to me to want to start playing guitar. Unfortunately, the cost of renting a saxophone was not compliant with the price of buying a guitar, for my very supportive parents. So I had to choose, and I chose the guitar. In 7th grade, I started my first rock band, which got some local recognition before disbanding 2 years later. My sophomore year, I was part of another band, who also got some local recognition, which disbanded after a year. Nonetheless, performing as a guitarist and singer in a rock setting had become very comfortable for me.
My junior year of high school saw more ambitious motives taking shape. I wrote and produced a full-length album, in which I played guitar, drums, keyboards, and sang on. I took up to live theatre in high school, getting valuable acting roles while also composing music cues for the various productions. One semester I was a part of an adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and another semester I did music and original songs for a Bollywood and musical-esque adaptation of The Jungle Book based on the Rudyard Kipling stories.
During high school I was also an integral part of the music department. All four years I was in an audition-only chamber choir, simply named the Colfax High School Chamber Choir, which has been locally and nationally acclaimed for consistently placing very well in competitions and contests for the past 20 years and counting. My four years in particular saw many valuable, and even some new, awards. I was also a leading member of the percussion section of the varsity band for most of my time at Colfax.
This was a time of major musical transformation and realization for me, so I really felt the need to outdo myself in every way and go out with a bang. For my senior project I decided to write a piece for orchestra, so I reached out to a relatively local symphony, the Auburn Symphony based out of northern California, to perform it. They ended up putting it in their fall program, and even flew me out from Boston for the weekend to come see it, since it was during my 1st semester at Berklee. But not only did I indulge my compositional aspirations, I also decided to write, record, and produce a 2nd album of my own, which featured many different drummers, including Travis Orbin, a talented and acclaimed session drummer. This release also saw the use of string and horn arranging for some particular tunes.
During the summer breaks leading up to my admission to Berklee, I attended the Berklee weeklong It’s All in the Song songwriting program, as well as the 5-week summer program. Additionally during summer vacations, I was an integral part of a local theatre company, Threshold Productions, landing valuable lead roles and even acting as composer and musical director for one of the more recent productions. One production we did was The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (the non-musical version), in which I wrote some music for and took on the dual-lead role of Jekyll and Hyde. The summer in between my 2nd and 3rd semesters at Berklee, we put on a production of a play called Rope (particularly made famous by Alfred Hitchcock’s film version). I got an important supporting role, as well as took on duties of writing music cues for scenes, mainly consisting of string quartet and piano, and a short piano etude as the main theme that I then had to teach to another actor (who did not play piano or have much prior musical knowledge) to play on stage as part of some scenes.
I was accepted into Berklee College of Music with Guitar as my principle instrument, aiming at being a Film Scoring major. In my 2nd semester at the school, I switched my principle instrument to Voice, after having become more interested academically in the human voice as an instrument. During my 2nd semester I also claimed my major, as well as the Video Game minor, adding on to my aspirations. Lastly in this very busy time of my college career, I was accepted to be a part of Berklee’s Rock/Pop Live Showcase, in which I composed and arranged a tune myself for my slot with the band (consisting of a funk/jazz rhythm section with a large horn combo), as well as sang on it live.
My 3rd semester at Berklee, in the fall of 2011, I did a session on drums for Jameslin Studio in Long Island, New York. In my time at Berklee, I did an a capella cover of a band’s tune and uploaded it to YouTube, of which got public recognition from the band. I now play recreationally in a progressive rock band called Time King, and am very active in the band creatively. The band itself has also done covers of other artists’ songs on YouTube and gotten public recognition from the bands- artists such as rock band Incubus and the up-and-coming New Zealander pop/jazz artist Kimbra.
Currently, in spring of 2012, my 4th semester at Berklee, I’m working on scoring an independent film from a director out of New York. Back in California, my high school’s award-winning chamber choir is rehearsing to premiere a choral piece I’d written fall of 2011, due to be performed sometime in May of this year. Aside from these works, my band has just released an EP, recorded and mixed at Jameslin Studio and Cove City Sound Studios, both in Long Island, New York. Also, the Kalistos string orchestra is set to do a reading of Berklee students’ string pieces, and mine was chosen to be a part of it, which will take place in April of this year.
The future, for me, holds the promise of honing my compositional skills as well as my vocal performance in my natural “rock” habitat, as I will be paying close attention to techniques of scoring for orchestra (particularly strings) and the performance and marketing aspects of a working musician with my band.
IM Screen Names
Experience & Education
Composer for Film: "Portrait" (Director - David Goddard)January 2012 to Present (about a year and a half)
Original score for independent film, written and directed by David Goddard
Actor, Composer, Musical Director for Threshold ProductionsMay 2010 to August 2011 (about a year)
Put on productions of Jekyll & Hyde, Rope - wrote score cues, tutored actors on musical parts if their role required it, as well as general vocal technique
Composer/Musical Director -exclusive to production for CPAC (Colfax Performing Arts Center)January 2010 to April 2010 (3 months)
for a musical/song-and-dance adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. Included original Bollywood/Orchestral/Jazz styled score and songs
Cashier, Stockperson, Film Customer-Reference for Pick-a-Flick Video StoreSeptember 2007 to September 2009 (over 2 years)
Had to have knowledge of most popular films past and present, in case customer had a question about a particular film. In an environment surrounded by the film industry.
BA in Film Scoring at Berklee College of Music2010 to Present (Expected completion 2014)