following is a short autobiography.
Growing up in
the ethnic environment of Cleveland, Ohio, I had the opportunity
to take accordion lessons from age 6 to age 12. Then I started
playing the clarinet as a seventh grader at Cleveland Collinwood
High School. Ed Siennicki, a very talented musician, was my
first clarinet teacher. He taught school and published many
pieces of music for school groups. As a college student at
Kent State University he even composed the school's fight
song. After my first year at Collinwood, Ed went to teach
at a new jr high, and Omar Blackman arrived on the scene.
Omar was a very inspirational teacher. Because of the example
of these two men I chose to become a music teacher.
When I was in junior high Robert Rimer
was the orchestra director. He had been my aunt Alice's teacher
when she played the violin at Collinwood. I inherited her
violin. Mr Rimer took a job at the city school headquarters,
and directed the Cleveland All-City Orchestra. I played first
chair clarinet in this group for three years. This orchestra
even played a concert in Severance Hall, the home of the Cleveland
During my three years in high school
I took clarinet lessons from James Rettew, second clarinetist
in the Cleveland Orchestra.
During the summer of 1956 I was fortunate
to be invited to play clarinet in the Parkersburg, WV Big
Red Band. After of a month of tough rehearsals, the band won
the VFW national junior band contest in Dallas, TX. They had
also won in 1955. To give you an idea of our attention to
detail, we had our uniforms delivered directly to the Cotton
Bowl by the dry cleaners. We changed into our uniforms in
the rest rooms so that there were absolutely no wrinkles on
our uniforms when we went on to the field for the marching
In the summers of 1955 to 1957 I played
clarinet in the All-Ohio Boys Band. In 1957 I became first
chair clarinet, and Bob Gref, who played second chair in the
All-City Orcherstra, became second chair.
At Ohio State University I was first
chair in the Concert Band under Dr. Donald McGinnis for two
years. Richard Stoltzman was two years behind me in school.
After graduating from Ohio State I taught band, choir, and
orchestra in public schools. Later I became a computer programmer
for the Air Force at WPAFB, retiring in 2003.
Through the years I have played clarinet
and violin in various local bands and orchestras. Now I have
a number of hobbies, as you can see by the pages on this site.
My musical experiences have been very rewarding, and I thank
my music teachers for having been such good role models.
If you would like to contact me, you
can send me an email.