What inspired you to do this kind of work?
I’ve spent many years as a professional musician. I worked hard to acquire a professional level of skill. A wonderful music educator named Bob Athayde offered me a job out of the blue helping out at Stanley Middle School in Lafayette. I had so much fun there that I decided to pursue teaching. Music has given me a lot and I felt that it was time to give back.
What is your position here and how long have you worked at O’Dowd?
I serve as Director of Instrumental Music. I am in my 8th year at O’Dowd and I’ve enjoyed every year here.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received (generally – it doesn’t have to be related to O’Dowd)?
Once I asked my 2nd cousin, who happened to be an admiral in the US Navy, what he thought the most important thing in life was. He answered “work.” I carry that with me to this day.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
I love turning young people onto music in all of its facets. The capacity that young people have to grow, develop, mature and change never ceases to amaze me. It’s great to be a part of that process.
What about your field or position do you think would surprise people the most?
It’s never boring!
What is the most interesting or surprising thing about you?
I started playing bass at age 35 and have been able to make a nice little career out of it. When people say “you’re too old to learn this or that” I just laugh. All of us are learning every day no matter how young or old!
If you could rescue only one thing from your burning office, what would it be?
What is your favorite kind of music/what are your favorite bands?
I like any music that has “soul” and integrity. Some random examples:
Ravel, Beethoven (especially the Eroica Symphony), Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Tupac Shakur, Prince, Sting, Hank Williams, Joni Mitchell, Brian Wilson, Adele (the list is long).
What is your favorite sports team or who is your favorite individual athlete?
Growing up in Hawaii, my favorite sport is surfing and I loved the “old school” surfers like as Gerry Lopez, Jock Sutherland, Corky Carroll, Mike Doyle, and many others.