About Me

Professional Trumpeter & Founder of Play On Philly inspiring social change and harmony through music.

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July 10, 2017

I have dedicated my professional career to providing an equitable music education experience to those who face barriers to receive it. Almost all of our students and families that I have been serving through Play On Philly are of color (African-American, Hispanic and S...

June 16, 2017

Like many people, my introduction to TED was through watching a powerful talk given by Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu as he accepted the 2009 TED Prize. Jose Antonio Abreu is the charismatic founder of the social development and music education program throughout Venezuela cal...

April 26, 2017

I was ten years old when I played in an orchestra for the first time. This wasn’t my elementary school orchestra. All the other musicians were in high school. I had only been playing trumpet for a couple of years and it is probably the scariest thing I have ever done t...

April 14, 2017

In 2009, the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra (NBYO) launched an El Sistema inspired program in Moncton and adopted a four-year plan to expand and replicate the program throughout the province. Sistema New Brunswick, as it is now called, now operates 6 centers, in Moncton...

March 28, 2017

The SHIFT festival provides a national platform for orchestras to showcase the breadth of their innovative work, on stage and in the community. It highlights the ways in which orchestras of all sizes are making a "shift:" where they perform, how they sound, and whom th...

December 10, 2016

Anne Midgette of the Washington Post wrote a sobering review of Eric Booth and Tricia Tunstall’s recent book “Playing for Their Lives”. As the Executive Director of the El Sistema inspired program Play On Philly and founding Board Chairman of El Sistema USA, I would of...

April 1, 2014

Since the age of twelve, I have known that I wanted to be a professional musician. The sound of brass playing really caught my ear; it was versatile – bold, articulate, sweet, and mournful – and the trombone in classical and jazz contexts possessed all of those qualiti...

January 30, 2014

In 2007, the music critic of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Dobrin, wrote a sobering article about the lack of minorities on stage, throughout the audience, back in the administrative offices, and in the board room of America’s top orchestras. He described a valiant...

September 23, 2013

“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living th...

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