I am a physician by training, specializing in epidemiology. I spent 12 years as an academic, teaching preventive medicine at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, and then switched careers, moving to the pharmaceutical industry. I worked in the area of drug/product safety with the now defunct Upjohn Company, DuPont Pharmaceuticals, and Marion Merrell Dow. Each of these companies merged with other companies. My last position took me to Kansas City in 1993, and my wife and I have been here ever since.
Music has been a major part of my life. I played piano growing up in Sunnyside, and continued until I went to Bayside High School. The school had a great music program so I took up the clarinet. When I was in high school, my aunt gave me an alto saxophone that had belonged to her late husband, my uncle. He had played saxophone when he was a young man. I continued to play clarinet and alto sax through college and medical school, but pretty much stopped after that.
After retiring in 2000, I did some consulting and project work for several other pharma companies, but as my colleagues in those companies also retired, the projects began to dry up. It was about then that I resumed playing my clarinet, and now, saxophone music is almost a full time activity.
Following retirement, a friend of mine told me about a band in which he played that needed a clarinet player, so I joined. A couple of years later, I became the leader of that band. From the initial group of five of us, I have grown that band into an 18 member ensemble that specializes in the great old swing band songs. We perform at nursing homes, senior centers and retirement communities, as well as putting on dinner dances at several clubs in the Kansas City area. Currently, I head up three different big bands and also play in a Dixieland band and a few jazz and woodwind combos. I now have over 2500 musical arrangements in my collection of songs, and select from that repertoire what we will play, depending on the place and audience for whom we happen to be playing.