After graduating from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1987 with a Master's Degree in Oboe performance, I have spent the last 28+ years as a professional, symphonic oboist, freelancing and sometimes affiliated with a group, such as the New World Symphony in Miami, Fl, the United States Air Force Academy Band in Colorado and the Sarasota Symphony. I have played in orchestras across the United States and in Mexico, touring France, Italy and Poland and the Carribean with various groups.
In the course of my career, I have held many other jobs, part and full time, in fields other than performance, which is common for freelance musicians. Among the jobs I have had have been several in instrument making companies including Powell Flutes, Brannen Brothers flutes, the Bishop Organ Company in Boston (where I worked on the Trinity Church, Christian Science Mother Church and other organs), Fishman Transducers and Parker Guitars, where I built the cutting edge Parker Fly guitar under luthier Ken Parker.
At Parker in Woburn, MA, I was responsible for the body drilling and routing department, where I added all of the holes, battery compartment and performed any other drilling or routing that was needed. I then took the bodies to my final assembly area, where I added all of the components such as batteries, wiring, pickups, circuit boards and tuners, to approximately 16 guitars per day. This was followed by my final inspections before the guitars were strung up and shipped.
Fifteen years later, in 2010, after 4 years in the USAF Academy Band as a Technical Sergeant, years auditioning for other orchestras, playing in orchestras across Colorado, Florida and Michigan, and having started an online oboe reed business, I was ready for something new. I had been writing songs off and on for many years without performing them anywhere. Trying to find an accompanist was daunting so, needing to accompany myself as a singer/songwriter, I decided to learn to play guitar. It was back to square one musically, but the change of musical routine was refreshing!
After two years of playing guitar and growing tired of just making oboe reeds for others, I decided to follow my new guitar "love" further and make guitars! I attended the Galloup School in Big Rapids, Michigan, where I made an electric guitar and an acoustic guitar in the course of two months of training, earning a Journeyman Certificate. Although the acoustic I built looked beautiful and was graded the highest in the class of about 25 students, it never had the sound that I was looking for. Being a classical musician and particularly an oboist, made me very aware of the nuances of tone in various instruments and gave me a definite opinion about what sounds I prefer.
After moving from Michigan to Connecticut (I actually went back to Michigan to go to school, timing is everything!) then moving twice more within the state, I had the space for a home shop. I built 6 more guitars in 4 different body styles in East Granby, CT; a jumbo, a dreadnought, an OM, and a style I designed that I call "A style", an extended dreadnought/mini-jumbo. In each of these guitars, I have pushed to expand my quality of build, esthetic and sonic abilities, to build guitars that are modern in style and sound, frequently using newer, alternative tonewoods to achieve balance, richness, volume and sustain.
Now having relocated to Massachusetts where I started out, I have set up shop in the Narrows in Fall River, where I continue to build on spec, but am also happy to build custom guitars, which gives customers the opportunity to tweak the details and pick their body wood preferences. I am excited about every guitar I build and am constantly seeking ways to improve the process and the results, while maintaining a hand built commitment. All major components are built by me and by hand without using CNC.