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I’ve been playing the french horn nearly all my life, and I continue to find joy and fulfillment as a semi-professional classical musician, making music with my friends. 

Since 2015, I have been a member of the Symphony of the Potomac in Silver Spring, Maryland, and from 2011-2019, I performed with Loudoun Symphony Orchestra. I’m active as a freelance musician in the DC area, and have performed with the Washington SinfoniettaCapital Pride Symphonic Band, Catholic University, McLean Symphony, and other DC-area ensembles. My DC-area musical theater pit orchestra credits include Spamalot (2019), Beauty and the Beast (2016) and Oklahoma! (2013).

The Lesbian & Gay Band Association holds a special place in my heart. DC’s Different Drummers was one of the first places where I was “out”, and the warm welcome I received from my musician friends there helped me find confidence to come out in other parts of my life. I’ve treasured my other performances with LGBA and its affiliates in Raleigh (2019), Charlotte (2019), Orlando (2019), Kansas City (2018), Phoenix (2017), Indianapolis (2015), Cleveland (Gay Games 2014), and in Washington, DC at the 57th Presidential Inaugural Parade. 

As a “serious” classical musician, it once felt incongruous when I contemplated how playing Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” for the Obamas might become one of the musical highlights of my life — on par with my being part of performances of Mahler 9 or the Rite of Spring. Today, looking back to 2013, it no longer feels that way, and the performance remains a treasured memory for me.

Selected Recordings

Elgar, “Nimrod” from Enigma Variations (May 2020)

I really enjoyed sitting down virtually with horn-playing friends from the DC / Maryland / Virginia music community, for this 24-horn recording of “Nimrod” from Elgar’s Enigma Variations. I’m looking forward to when we can all sit down together in person again.

Carmichael, “I Get Along Without You Very Well” (November 2019).

“Poor Wayfaring Stranger” (April 2020)

“Poor Wayfaring Stranger” really resonated with me at the start of the pandemic. I was honored to be able to make this recording for Dignity Washington’s Easter Vigil service. When I shared the recording at work, I also got to explain to some co-workers that, yes, the horn really does have that large a range. “I am a poor wayfaring stranger / Travelling through this land of woe. / And there’s no sickness, toil or danger / In that bright world to which I go.”

Cohen, “Hallelujah” (Unitarian Universalist Church of Glen Allen, September 2016) 

I was inspired by the Genghis Barbie recording of this old standard, and performed this in September 2016 at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Glen Allen. It was fun seeing the congregation react to the shift in the last verse. This performance was challenging for me, musically, in so many ways. Perhaps sharing the recording also served as a step in my journey of self-acceptance and understanding.

Pachelbel’s Christmas (Cherry Blossom Brass / DC’s Different Drummers, December 2014). 

From the 2014 holiday concert of DC’s Different Drummers. With Sarah Billmaier and Brian Kaiser, trumpets, Stephen Cherry, trombone, and Charlton Templeton, tuba.

Saint’s Hallelujah (Cherry Blossom Brass / DC’s Different Drummers, December 2014).

From the 2014 holiday concert of DC’s Different Drummers. With Sarah Billmaier and Brian Kaiser, trumpets, Stephen Cherry, trombone, and Charlton Templeton, tuba.

Joseph Hadyn, London Trio No. 1, Hob.IV:1, (NLRB CFC Art Auction, December 10, 2014). 

NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce asked for musicians to perform as part of the annual art auction, and in 2014 my friends and fellow NLRB attorneys Soye Kim (violin) and Angela Thompson (flute) performed one of the London Trios. I think as performers it’s all-too-easy for us to focus on the flaws in our own performance (and believe me, I hear many in all of my recordings). I was at first nervous at putting my own splatted low notes out there for my musician friends to hear, until some friends convinced me otherwise. To be crystal-clear to people not familiar with the work: This piece was originally written for ‘cello. I am playing the ‘cello part on horn. I think musicians sometimes hold ourselves up to such high standards that it detracts from the sheer pleasure of it all.