What have you been up to?
I live and work in LA in the film and music industry. I make my living as a composer, songwriter, orchestrator, and in music preparation (with a few other music-related odd jobs thrown in). I've had the great opportunity to compose for feature films, award-winning short films, TV, write songs for Disney and Amazon Prime, orchestrate on a Netflix short film, and supervise the "in-concert" premieres of films like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, How To Train Your Dragon, and Skyfall. I love the huge variety of gigs I get to participate in and the many talented people I get to work alongside.
What brought you to LCL?
I knew that after elementary school (at Divine Redeemer Lutheran) I wanted to continue my Christian education. I was familiar with LCL mainly through the Saturday morning band program Mrs. Garlock ran for the area middle schoolers. We rehearsed and performed in the old YMCA building at the time. I also remember the trailers in the DR parking lot when I attended elementary school, so LCL had been in my life even before I started high school. I knew I liked the teachers and the environment and looked forward to attending there as a student.
What did you value most as a student at LCL?
I valued the close relationship with my teachers as well as the friends I made at LCL. Every teacher in every class always made themselves accessible to every student, which is not an easy task. I never felt like I was a nuisance for staying after class to ask questions, or to just hang out and chat about life. I believe the great environment that allowed me to make so many friends among my peers started with the open and welcoming space the teachers and staff created.
How did LCL prepare you for college?
I graduated from Belmont University in Nashville in 2016 with 2 degrees (Bachelor of Arts in Motion Pictures, Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music, Composition and Arranging emphasis). While music/film studies are a little different than a standard degree, I still received a liberal arts education.
My junior year, I was the music director for LCL's musical production of All Shook Up. This was by far the biggest position on a production I had been part of at that point. I was responsible for running vocal rehearsals, learning the music book, assembling a live band, and accompanying rehearsals for the show. Working with my fellow students and the drama director as a leading member of the production gave me the confidence and organizational skills necessary to lead a team, and showed me the ins and outs of putting on a production. I've since developed and used these skills to produce live performances in LA with the creators of Disney's Phineas & Ferb, and supervise live in-concert productions of blockbuster films in the US and abroad.
Do you have any favorite memories or stories from your time at LCL that you would like to share?
This question is so difficult, as I have too many favorite memories/stories to keep this interview brief! Some short snippets include music directing All Shook Up, being part of the first ever LCL softball team (and playing April games in near-freezing temperatures), bringing our 6 pound homemade gummi bear to the first day of school and getting him his own student ID, winning Class Day two years in a row (Class of 2012), participating in a dueling piano competition for the lip sync/talent show, and Señor's Spanish classes were always the highlight of my day.
Is there any advice you would like to offer to the current and future students of LCL?
My advice would be to try any new activity you're interested in. LCL has a great amount of sports/extracurricular programs to be involved in outside of class. Don't worry about whether or not you'll make varsity or get the lead part - I guarantee you'll make friends and learn new skills along the way. Also, talk to your teachers. The love and support they have for students is immeasurable, and they want to work with you to make sure you have the best high school experience possible