The Early Years
My formal musical journey began in sixth grade when I decided to join band and play the trombone. I had always excelled in art (as much as you can in elementary school) and it was time to see about this "band" thing. Also, by brother was in band... so gotta follow the family trend.
When I got to ninth grade, I decided it was time for more music making, specifically music creating. I acquired a Casio keyboard from my aunt and began teaching myself music theory and figuring out how harmony worked. Mainly, I just wrote simple trombone duets to play with my friends.
Then came Noteworthy Composer. Look it up, it's still around. I had the free version and could only save ten times on each piece! This allowed me to tinker a bit more than at the keyboard. I could also write out more complex pieces to play with my friends. Composing pretty much completely replaced video games. I would always be disappointed when finishing/beating a video game. It felt like I had wasted soooo much time just to see the ending. Composing at least left me with a piece of music. Even if the music wasn't that good (it really wasn't in the early days).
The College Years
While studying music education at Furman University, I spent a lot of time in the composing/arranging realm. My classes and professors exposed me to a wide range of literature.. I would spend hours listening to recordings (and studying scores) in the music library. My composing and arranging for friends picked up a good bit and I started to really develop my craft. I would also run innumerable questions by Jay Bocook. I never formally studied with him, but have had many, many conversations that have drastically affected my skills. (My informal studies Bocook have continued for years past college)
Being a high school band director keeps me quite busy. I write/arrange a lot for my students in so many different facets. As I'm sure you've probably found, I put up most of my classroom and rehearsal resources for free. I don't take myself too seriously and give away most of my resources because I hope to see my colleagues succeed. I also do a bit of arranging for various groups and am all about writing new pieces. I have a lot of ideas for pieces and what-not, just never can seem to find the time to finish them..
I love music. I love teaching it. I love writing it. I often have no idea what's happening in the plot of a movie because I was lost in the music....
The Commercial Side of Things
Much of my composing time is split between the classical/band world and writing for various forms of media. I've scored several video games, films, and have an online catalogue of royalty-free sync-licensing music. I use Logic Pro and I honestly have a blast writing music for the screen. Below is a link to one of my absolute FAVORITE placements. The video should start right before my cue (the Vader Scene) comes in:
I also got to go to the Chicago/Midwest Emmys in 2019. That was awesome.. but also weird being in Chicago for something that wasn't The Midwest Clinic.
Now go make some music.