I fell in love with the art of chamber music during my first year at the Peabody Institute. It wasn't just the performance experience (which I found incredibly enjoyable), or the music itself (which I found intensely interesting). The thing that led me to pursue a career based largely around chamber music was the meaningful connection that I forged with my chamber music partners. My groups would spend a hundred hours or more over the course of a semester working on just one or two pieces. Over that time, I learned more about this music than any other I had ever studied, and I began to learn things about my colleagues. I learned their strengths and weaknesses, and we discovered how we could combine our talents to produce an artistic product that was far more expressive and emotional than one we could produce on our own.
When Robert van Sice told me that he was going to put together The Percussion Collective to continue this tradition that we started in school and bring it into the professional world, I jumped at the opportunity. The musicians in this group are some of the most talented artists that I've ever met, and every time we get together, I feel honored to share the stage with them. Although we have only been active for a little more than a year, we have already commissioned three major works - Garth Neustadter and Kjell van Sice's multimedia piece Seaborne, Alejandro Viñao's Stress and Flow, and Christopher Theofinidis's concerto, Drum Circles. We premiered the Theofinidis in Portland, Oregon this Spring and will play it with five more orchestras during the '19-'20 season. I'm very proud of what this group has accomplished in such a short time, and I can't wait for the projects that we're planning to come to fruition!