Ph.D., Music Composition
University of Iowa
Committee: David Gompper (chair), Lawrence Fritts, Nicole Biamonte, Stephen Swanson, Eric Forsythe.
Dissertation: Some Distance Away for solo trumpet and chamber orchestra.

Masters Degree, Music Composition
University of Massachusetts
Committee: Bruce MacCombie (chair), Bret Aarden, and Ernest May.
Thesis: Americana for brass choir and percussion.

Bachelor of Arts Degree, Music
Boston College

Principal Instructors:
Composition: David Gompper, Bruce MacCombie, Lawrence Fritts, Salvatore Macchia, Thomas Oboe Lee
Electronic/Electroacoustic: Scott Wyatt, Lawrence Fritts, Jean-Paul Perrotte
Trumpet: José Saloio


The Boston New Music Initiative, Inc.
Founded and have run 501(c)(3) non-profit organization since its inception in November 2009 and incorporation in April 2010. Responsible for overseeing the organization’s operation as a whole, managing all volunteer staff, serving as ex-officio member of Board of Directors, and functioning as the point-of-contact for the organization. The organization is an international network of composers, performers, conductors, directors, and champions of music established in order to generate new music concerts, compositions, collaborations, and commissions.

Church Musician
Perform for various services on piano and trumpet in the greater Boston and Seacoast, NH regions. Most recent engagements include St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Dover, MA and Corpus Christi Parish in Portsmouth, NH.

Private Composition Studio Instructor
Teach private composition lessons in the greater Boston and Seacoast, NH regions and online to students levels introductory through graduate students and ages 17 to 85.

Graduate Teaching Assistant
University of Iowa
Taught aural skills/ear training, graded and assisted music theory levels I-II (2006-2007), III-IV (2007-2009).

Graduate Teaching Assistant
University of Massachusetts
2005-2006: Orchestra librarian. Graded and assisted African-American Music and Musicians class.
2004-2005: Manager of symphony band and wind ensemble


  • PARMA/SCI Music Festival, August 2013
    Performance of Words of Love and Despair (2011) for flute, clarinet, and piano
  • “Tutti” New Music Festival, Denison University, March 2009
    Faculty performance of The Terraces of Purgatory (2008) for soprano and piano
  •  Midwest Composers Symposium, University of Iowa, February 2008
    University of Iowa Chamber Orchestra performance of In Memoriam (2005, rev. 2008)
  • Midwest Composers Symposium, Indiana University, February 2008
    Indiana University Brass Choir performance of Americana (2006)
    Indiana University Contemporary Choir Ensemble performance of Angele Dei (2005)


ASCAP Plus Award Winner, 2012 & 2013

Invited guest composer at Northern Arizona University New Music concert (March). World premiere performance of Answers and Questions for alto sax, piano, and percussion.

2012, 2013
Served on three-member judging panel for PARMA Student Composer Competition.

Awarded grant from Meir Rimon Commissioning Assistance Program for commission “Sonata for Horn and Percussion” for DMA candidate Candace Thomas, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (February)

Accepted membership into Pi Kappa Lambda (May)
Judge for National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC) Junior Composers contest, North Central region (March)

In Memoriam recorded by Kiev Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Robert Ian Winstin. Released in Volume 15 of Masterworks of the New Era CD series by ERM Media, December 2009.


  • Answers and Questions for alto saxophone, piano, and two percussion players, March 2013
    Commissioned by Erasable Color, Northern Arizona University student ensemble
  •  A Few Moments Later for brass choir, September 2011
    Commissioned by Bay Colony Brass; Jerry Cadden, director
  •  “Sonata” for Horn and Percussion, March 2011
    Commissioned by Candace Thomas, DMA candidate, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  •  Words of Love and Despair for flute, clarinet, and piano, February 2011
    Commissioned by Quinta Esencia (Boston, Mass.) ensemble
  •  The Terraces of Purgatory, song cycle for soprano and piano, September 2008
    Commissioned by Shannon Rose McAuliffe, B.M., University of Massachusetts
  •  Cantos del Mar for tuba and piano, May 2007
    Commissioned by Valentine Bialecki, B.M., University of Massachusetts

Composed works for multimedia production at the University of Iowa: Beth’s Solo and Carmen (choreographed by Analia Alegre-Femenias) and Truth and Beauty (video and photography by Erin Burns)

Composed incidental music for University of Iowa’s production of David’s Red-Haired Death by Sherry Kramer


  • World premiere performance of The Modern Orpheus by Severyn Bruyn, October 2011
    Instrumentation: SATB vocal quartet, piano, cello, and clarinet; with acted scenes performed between movements
  •  World premiere performance of A Song of Evolution by Severyn Bruyn, October 2010
    Instrumentation: SATB vocal quartet and piano, with acted scenes performed between movements
  •  The Boston New Music Initiative September Concert, September 2010
    Weeping Willow by Bruce Reiprich
    Instrumentation: soprano and string quartet
  •  The Boston New Music Initiative Inaugural Concert, February 2010
    Loveliness Extreme by Ingrid Stötzel
    Instrumentation: cl, pno, vn, vc


Answers and Questions for alto saxophone, piano, and two percussion players (8’)
• Northern Arizona University, March 2013 (Erasable Color)

Moments for orchestra (7’)
• Longy School of Music, April 27, 2013 (BNMI; Lipsitt, conductor)

A Few Moments Later for brass choir (7’)
• Burlington, Massachusetts, January 28, 2012 (Bay Colony Brass; Cadden, conductor)

Words of Love and Despair for flute, clarinet, and piano (6’)
• United Church of Christ, Medfield, Massachusetts, February 18, 2011 (Quinta Esencia)
• First Church, Boston, Massachusetts, June 18, 2011 (Quinta Esencia)
• PARMA/SCI Music Festival, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, August 16, 2013 (BNMI)

Sonata for Horn and Percussion (6’)
• University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, April 30, 2011 (Thomas; Berg)

The Terraces of Purgatory for soprano and chamber orchestra (13’)
• Longy School of Music, November 14, 2010 (BNMI; Smith, soprano; Stapleton, conductor)

Hommage for brass quintet (10’)
• Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, June 3, 2010 (Artemisia Quintet)
• University of North Texas, April 16, 2011 (Graduate Quintet)

I Am Not Yours for soprano and string quartet (12’)
• Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, February 4, 2010 (BNMI; Smith, soprano; Stapleton, conductor)

Lux Aeterna for SSAATTBB choir (6’)
• University of Iowa, October 19, 2008 (Loes, conductor)
• Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 27, 2012 (Seraphim Singers; Lester, conductor)
• Attleboro, Massachusetts, May 12, 2012 (Oure Pleasure Singers; Warbold, conductor)

The Terraces of Purgatory for soprano voice and piano (13’)
• University of Massachusetts, October 21 (McAuliffe; Bailey)
• University of Iowa, December 6 (Smith; DuHamel)
• Denison University (“Tutti” New Music Festival), March 27, 2009 (Andrews-Smith; Newcomb)
• Bay View Music Festival, July, 2009 (Smith; Patterson)

Perspective for viola solo (6’)
• University of Iowa, May 3 (Calhoun)

Cantos del Mar for tuba and piano (rev. 2010) (8’)
• University of Iowa, March 9, 2008 (Zelle; Tauscheck)

Break Point for stereophonic playback (5’)
• University of Iowa, April 15

Etude for piano (6’)
• University of Iowa, February 25 (Bungert)

Music from Timeless Suspension of Dreams, multimedia performance (60’)
• University of Iowa, November 29-December 1
“Carmen” (Alegre-Femenias, choreography) (12’)
“Beth’s Solo” (Alegre-Femenias, choreography) (5’)
“Truth and Beauty” (Burns, videography and photography) (5’)

Bella Ladrona for two guitars (6’)
• University of Iowa, December 2 (Gainey; Fischer)

Americana for brass choir and percussion (7’)
• Indiana University (Midwest Composers Symposium), February 16, 2007 (Cord, conductor)
• Burlington, Massachusetts, May 19, 2007 (Bay Colony Brass; Cadden, conductor)

Music from David’s Redhaired Death (10’)
• University of Iowa, September 28-30, October 1 (Goddard, piano)

In Memoriam for symphony orchestra (rev. 2008) (6’)
• University of Iowa (Midwest Composers Symposium), February 8, 2008 (Pearce, conductor)
• Longy School of Music, February 25, 2012 (BNMI; Lofton, conductor)

Angele Dei for SATB choir (6’)
• Indiana University (Midwest Composers Symposium), February 16, 2007
• University of Massachusetts, May 2006 (Davis, conductor)

Three Movements for piano trio (9’)
• University of Massachusetts, May 12, 2005 (Kim; Cook; Lockwood)
• University of Iowa, November 12, 2006 (Dupree; Dial; Bungert)

Conversation for woodwind quintet (5’)
• Nashua, New Hampshire, November 2005 (Movadi Wind Quintet)
• University of Massachusetts, December 10, 2005 (UMass Graduate Woodwind Quintet)

Dating Games: a musical (ca. 120’)
• Boston College, November 8-10, 2001 (Vassallo, director; Davis, music director)


The Boston New Music Initiative, Inc.
President and Founder, 2009-present

Society of Composers, Inc.
Member, 2006-present
Vice President, University of Iowa chapter, 2008-2009

American Composers Forum
Member, 2002-2005; 2008-present

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
Member, 2008-present


  • Experience in arts administration as CEO of international music organization. Significant experience in grant writing/proposal applications for nonprofits with The Boston New Music Initiative and employee of Education Development Center (2011-present).
  • Active composer with frequent performances. Several collaborations involving dance and theater productions.
  • Fluent in ProTools, Sibelius, Finale, Peak, MIDI, Digital Performer, Cool Edit, and Audacity. Additional experience with Max/Msp and GarageBand.
  • Significant corporate experience and work within nonprofits (5+ years).

Available upon request.


Recent Posts

A Tribute to Joe

I started playing the trumpet when I was in fifth grade.  I took to it quickly, and it wasn’t long before my grandparents had found a private teacher for me, named Jose (Joe) Saloio.  (I hadn’t asked for one. That said, my brother, an excellent musician three years my senior, had a private clarinet instructor, so I went with the flow.)  When I showed up for my first lesson with Mr. Saloio, I recognized him from our church, an older man with a kind face who reminded me much of my grandfather, with a full head of white hair, glasses, and a deep voice with just a hint of an accent.  When I sat down and played my first note as a warm-up, Mr. Saloio reacted with a surprised comment.  “Wow, nice tone.” (I didn’t know at the time that compliments from him were only earned, not simply given.) He had a great tone himself, capable of producing a remarkably sweet sound on an instrument often known for its power rather than its beauty.  I tried hard to emulate his sound, though I had no chance to match his skills.  For a while, I advanced quickly.  Every time I added a note to my range, he would jokingly grab my bicep, and we quickly worked through the beginner books into more advanced work.

However, within a year, I began to struggle.  It was a point in my life where I was bored by music exercises.  I was regularly writing songs on the piano and that was easy. It was like shooting hoops in the backyard: no pressure, no criticisms, just getting lost in my own creativity.  The intervals, scales, and lip-building exercises were chores, like picking up the trash or unloading the dishwasher. I knew I had to do it, but I didn’t enjoy it. To ease the boredom, I would distract myself by trying to practice the trumpet while playing video games.  The saying goes, “Amateurs work until they get it right. Professionals work until they can’t get it wrong.” I was definitely going the amateur route. Once I got an exercise right, once, I’d move on (playing another inning or level in Sega in between). What seemed like 45 minutes of practicing was probably more like 10-15 total.  It was a poor effort but I had convinced myself it was a solid effort.

Needless to say, I couldn’t slip this by Mr. Saloio.  For weeks, he had started to speak about some of the other students my age and how well they were doing.  He was trying to tap into my competitive side, and while I definitely wanted to be better than them, I wrongly assumed I could be, so long as I kept doing exactly what I was doing.  One day, as we started up on a new book in our lessons, I was doing a terrible job sight-reading, making numerous mistakes I had no business making.  Finally, Mr. Saloio picked up the book and slammed it shut, saying, “You’re not ready to handle this level then,” and threw the book back in his filing cabinet.  I was thoroughly embarrassed; all of the other students were already onto that book, and I had proven that I couldn’t keep up. When the lesson ended shortly after, he asked to speak with my mom privately.  In school, I always did my homework, studied for tests, and behaved well in class.  But I still knew that when a teacher had to talk to my mom behind closed doors, I was in trouble.

On the car ride home that day, my mom, as expected, tore into me.  Of course, now that I am a parent, I can better understand that Mr. Saloio’s talk probably embarrassed her as well, and my parents weren’t going to accept such a lackadaisical effort on my part or keep wasting their money on lessons.  But she also gave me an out. “Do you want to just stop taking trumpet lessons?”  At the time, the answer truthfully would have been yes.  I was battling the perils of middle school: puberty, crappy teachers, crappier students. I was growing apart from many of my childhood friends while not having many obvious replacements.  The best outlets for me were distractions from reality: playing sports by myself in the backyard, writing songs, and playing video games.

Of course, I didn’t have any of this introspection at the time. I just knew then that if I stopped taking lessons, that I would somehow regret it, not to mention disappointing my family, and Mr. Saloio.  So I shook my head no, and I continued on with my weekly lessons.  I took away some immediate lessons learned from that incident: that I couldn’t expect to skate by on talent alone, that I needed to apply myself in music the same way that I did in the classroom, that I needed to prove myself to avoid any future embarrassing call-outs.  But over the years, I kept coming back to that moment the further I advanced in my career.  The memory was a frequent (and needed) reminder that I could control my destiny by maximizing my talents through a solid work ethic; without hard work, no matter how easily something might have come to me, I wasn’t going to succeed.  And I also realized that I was motivated by those who doubted me (even if that doubt was self-inflicted).  

Lessons with Mr. Saloio were different after that.  I blossomed as a player over the next two years, landing first chair in the Western MA Junior District orchestra in eighth grade.  Mr. Saloio told me (both as a compliment and as a motivator) about the parents of students who didn’t score as well who wanted to sign up with him because of where I placed.  Unfortunately, just as I was peaking going into high school, I got braces. For the next year, I couldn’t play more than 10-15 minutes without losing my chops, in spite of trying to play through.  I had permanent grooves in my lips, sores created by applying the pressure of a mouthpiece against a set of teeth lined with metal.  Often they would start bleeding halfway through a practice session.  I tried everything from wax, mouthguards, and bigger mouthpieces to make things more comfortable, but nothing really worked.  As a result, I simply couldn’t advance.  Mr. Saloio would often pause and shake his head in our lessons after my lip blew out, saying, “You had been doing so well.”  After my lessons, he would ask my mom, referring to my braces, “How many more years?” Even after they mercifully came off, the damage persisted.  I had spent so long trying to adjust my playing to the braces that I couldn’t get comfortable playing once the braces were off. Mr. Saloio knew I would be studying music in college, but concentrating on composition rather than trumpet. I always had to remind him that this was always my primary interest, that it wasn’t the braces or anything I was doing or not doing in our lessons.  Unfortunately, I stopped lessons toward the end of my senior year of high school, as I was done performing at that point, even in the high school band, and I was so busy with so many other extracurriculars that it was difficult to keep up with the practicing.

Even though I stopped taking lessons, Mr. Saloio was never far from my mind.  When I got to college, I was advised to go right into Music Theory II, as the fundamentals class would be too easy for me.  I resisted, insisting, having never formally taken a music theory course, that I didn’t want any gaps in my knowledge to derail me. As I went through the fundamentals class, however, I realized that everything they were teaching were things I had already covered in my trumpet lessons.  I figured out that Mr. Saloio’s handwriting wasn’t all that bad, and that there was a reason he kept things like the “ii” lowercase and the “V” with the small 7 next to it.  We never talked in depth about those figures and symbols, but I had learned what he meant by them in how we approached those exercises (both in fingering exercises and when doing improvisations), and the music courses in college provided the final few synapses to put everything together.  I cruised through my theory courses, and realized I owed a lot more to my trumpet lessons with Mr. Saloio in my college music preparation than I could have imagined.

After my mom once told me that she ran into him around town, I decided to write him a letter to tell him exactly that.  Looking back on it, I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to thank him and let him know the impact he had on my career.  I also started practicing the trumpet again and, this time, everything came back. Not only did I finally regain my lip the way I had before I ever got that damn metal put in my mouth, but now I was armed with all the theory knowledge I needed to make myself a better player.  I remember Mr. Saloio had once told me that, due to illness, he spent almost fifteen years not touching his instrument, from high school until he was almost 30. “It always comes back,” he said. “You have to build your lip back up again, but this,” he said, wiggling his fingers, “and this,” he said, pointing to his head, “that sticks with you.”  He was right.

To this day, when I practice (admittedly, usually more on the piano than the trumpet these days), I think of elements of Mr. Saloio’s lessons that toughened me up as a musician: the circled R (meaning you had to review the piece the following week, having “failed the audition” to get it right the first time), the circled M (memorize the piece for the following week), the transposition exercises of writing three completely unrelated keys above the exercise, requiring me to play those pieces in any seemingly any key, on the fly.  Now I’m the one in charge of assigning myself the circled Ms and Rs, when I prepare for my regular piano gig at church.  And I’ve had to transpose countless times on both the trumpet or piano, something that might not be all that surprising to professional musicians, but an invaluable tool nonetheless.

When I moved back home for grad school, I paid Mr. Saloio a visit.  It was a long time ago now and I regrettably don’t recall all the details of what we talked about, but I remember cherishing the opportunity, in his own house, to express again how much of an impact he had on my career, and to get to hear some stories of his amazing teaching and performing career.  When I was leaving, he told me that if I ever wanted to get together and play some duets, I should give him a call.  We always had fun playing duets together. But my lip was out of shape again at that point and wanted some time to get it built back up.  Then I got sucked into the grad school schedule and the offer slipped my mind.

Years went by and eventually he wound up at the same assisting living center as my grandmother.  She would always let me know whenever she saw him, and that he remembered me and said to say hi.  It was always humbling to me that someone who had taught so many brilliant students over the years would remember me, when my playing career never really went anywhere by comparison.  It also came as no surprise to me, or probably anyone who had ever met him or played with him, to read that he was still playing gigs regularly, even after he had turned 90.  

This past Monday, my 5 AM alarm on my old iHome docking station selected “Stardust” by Dizzy Gillespie.  I have hundreds of songs on that iPod, and few trumpet pieces (far fewer than I should). My wife heard the piece come on and, without knowing the piece or the artist and still half asleep, mumbled, “Nice tone.”  The same thing Joe said the first time he heard me play. I didn’t know until a few days later that Joe had passed away that same day, at the age of 96.

Joe taught nearly 500 students over the years.  I am humbled and grateful that I got to be one of them.  It has been over twenty years since my last lesson with him, but he is still, and always will be, my teacher.  Heaven’s trumpet section just got themselves a ringer.

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