BioI started playing drums at 9 years old in elementary school on the snare drum with many hard lessons on reading and rudiments. My first teacher was Jerry Marrone from Middletown, Maryland--he was also the band director in 5th grade. He gave me the basics on reading music and the journey began. I continued to played all through middle school but primarily on bass drum. However things changed greatly when I had the chance to take my first drum set lessons from Mike Brennan at Make n' Music. From that moment on I loved to play and practice, practice, practice all the time.
Once in high school I continued set lessons but then was introduced to a great band director Gary Rupert at Middletown high school who pushed me even farther on developing snare drum techniques and eventually became the leader of the group. I also joined the Jazz Ensemble and started playing music totally out of my comfort zone so I ended up taking more jazz lessons from Kevin Lloyd who is also now the band director of Linganore High school. All was great with learning so many different styles at one time and everyday I would play for 4 or 5 hours. Once I graduated from it became a bit calmer as I went off to college at Shippensburg University where I really had no more people to teach me. I started just grabbing all the material I could from new music like Rush, Dream Theater, Van Halen and Pearl Jam to any sheet music I found once I joined the jazz ensemble. I still ended up playing often and continued to grow but not like in High school. I did join a band and played out at some local bars and on campus but it was short lived as guys were graduating. I did however get to be in marching band for 5 years and played quads for four of the years. The first year I was on bass drum as it was the only opening available on the line. After college, I got the awesome chance to go to Musician Institute in Hollywood California. This was by far the hardest and most fun I had playing for sure with live performance every week with all types of great musicians. Plus all the teachers were working professionals. Some of my best teachers I studied with were Ray Luzier (Korn), Fred Dinkins (Whitney Houston and Madonna), Ralph Johnson ( Earth Wind and Fire), Owen Goldman and Richie Garcia. I played for over 10 hours each day and the time flew by so quickly! I learned to take Sundays off as to rest the body for 24 hours and I have been fortunate not to have any signs of pain throughout my playing years.
Unfortunately I left school early after my first semester to come back home and get married. Very big decision to make at a young age which was the biggest life changer I have ever had. The marriage never happened and so I just focused on work. For years I regretted leaving and actually stopped playing for a bit as I was very upset because I thought I made the wrong decision. As it turns out I got involved into the car business and met my closest friend and mentor Ernie Pelino who took me under his wing at Braddock Motors. Taught me everything to know in the car business and let me grow and understand all facets of the business. Today we have 2 Locations in Frederick Maryland where I am now partial owner of these stores and handle the day to day operations. Once a few years had gone by I decided to start playing and again at the dealerships above our cleanup bay in a loft. I was able to get a new appreciation for the journey I had been on and how the decision I made was correct and just loved to play when I could.
Recently I had received an email from Def Leppard's website inviting 8 drummers the once in a lifetime experience to come out and play at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp in Las Vegas. I was amazed at how many contacts were made and amazing counselors I met including Lita Ford, Brent Muscat, Phil Soussan and Vinny Appice. So practicing kept getting more intensified and continues to open more doors. In July I got to attend another camp in Las Vegas with the group YES and really had a great band put together called "Split Aces" with our counselor being Gary Hoey! Incredible time and a great time creating an original instrumental song with Gary Hoey. I also had the pleasure of meeting a great musician and person in Johnny Lust! He gave me some great tips to start moving into the Double Bass World!! In August I got to go to Napa Valley to play at the Louis Martini winery with guitar great Joe Satriani!! I will also be mentored by Vinny Appice, Bruce Kulick, Kane Roberts, and Teddy Andreadis. Next trip in the works is in November at a Modern Drummer event at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp in las vegas at the MGM once again with some more great artists which include: Hal Blaine, John Robinson, Waddy Wachtel, Russ Kunkel, Leland Sklar, Alan White, Joe Vitale, Teddy Andreadis, Denny Seiwell.
2014 has kicked off to be a great year!! Getting the chance to play with Judas Priest, Zakk Wylde, Scott Ian, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer, Nick Catanese, Geoff Tate, Lita Ford, Vinny Appice, and Gary Hoey has been awesome.