My professional biography is available here and at the bottom of the page. If you just want to learn more about me, read what's in between.
My main musical activities include playing guitar, writing, and teaching.
I started on the violin in 4th grade because my parents felt that I should learn a musical instrument. That lasted until high school when I heard “Eruption” by Eddie Van Halen and decided that was the path I should follow. I bought a cheap guitar and amp from Sears and started on my quest to shred. I never did really learn how to shred because I didn’t have the patience to practice. Instead I improvised, learned portions of songs and wrote music.
Here is a video of me improvising:
Just before starting college I heard “Leyenda” by Isaac Albeniz performed by John Williams and decided I wanted to learn that. So, as a freshman in college, I studied classical guitar with Larry Malfroid. While at college I also studied composition with Russell Floyd. After graduation I complete my master’s in composition and theory at Penn State and recently I completed my doctorate at Ohio State in composition.
Here is a video of me playing Leyenda:
I have composed music for a variety of instruments and ensembles, including clarinet, piano, saxophone, string quartet, and orchestra. Lately I have been composing mainly for the guitar. The reason for this is I want pieces to play. When I am writing a piece for the guitar I tend to learn it as I am writing it, in that way, it is less painful, as I am not a big fan of practicing.
Here is a piece of mine for orchestra:
A piece for saxophone and piano:
and a piece for clarinet and piano:
Non-musically, I enjoy hanging out with my wife and kids, dreaming of owning a snake again, and like watching/playing sports. I dislike running intensely (I usually only run if chased and thankfully, that doesn’t happen very often) but I do enjoy riding bikes and walking.
A man (not me) being chased:
Download Rob's Curriculum Vitae.
Download Rob's Professional Biography.