I've been making up songs pretty much since I was a young child, but didn't start to take that gift seriously until I was about 15. I say "making up songs" because to call me a composer is probably giving me a bit too much credit musically. I barely read or write musical notation, and I play guitar and piano pretty much by ear. I won't blow anyone away with my playing or singing, but as a communicator through music and spoken word, there's something pretty powerful that happens when I share my gifts. I've come to appreciate and respect that "something," though I won't claim to fully understand it! My gift is primarily in the area of putting lyrics and melodies together and coming up with songs that somehow communicate messages that I trust God has given me to share. I write and perform in lots of different styles and "moods," and this diversity has probably been a key to the success I've enjoyed. I also deal with a lot of subjects (i.e. some pretty cutting edge social justice issues) that most of "contemporary Christian music" doesn' touch. I've been doing this as my full-time work for 22 years now, and I'm profoundly grateful that I've managed to do what I love most and minister and pay the bills all these years without having a "real job!"
As far as credentials go, it might be meaningful to some of you to know that I am an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, and that I was a local church pastor in northern Wisconsin for almost 4 years (1983-1987). I grew up primarily in Chatham, N.J., graduated high-school from The Pingry School in New Jersey in 1976 (now you can figure out how old I am...), graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University with a degree in Religion and a concentrated study in Psychology in 1980, and then got my M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary in Jan., 1984. I was a pastor of two small churches in northern Wisconsin, and then lived in Three Lakes, WI for the first 6 years of my music ministry. In 1993 my family and I moved to Madison, WI, and I've been in Madison ever since.
I've traveled extensively for the past 22 years doing concerts and leading worship services and retreats. I've also worked a good deal with two ministries which were born out of the well known "Church of the Saviour" (yes, that's how they spell "Saviour") in Washington, D.C. (Ministry of Money and Harvest Time). Both of these organizations focus on economic justice and faithfulness from a Christian perspective, and it was in the context of my work with these organizations that I was privileged to connect very intimately with the country and people of Haiti. I've written many songs over the years that have been born out of my experiences in Haiti, and you'll find them on quite a few of my CDs. I still work a good deal with several grass roots organizations that serve some of the poorest neighborhoods of Haiti, and from time to time I also lead groups of people to experience Haiti for themselves. Please give me a call or e-mail me if a trip like this is interesting to you or if you would like to know more about my work in Haiti and how you might connect with it yourself. You can also learn more about this aspect of my ministry by visiting www.haitipartnersmcc.org
As of October, 2010, I have released 12 CDs, 3 study guides, and 4 songbooks. You can read more about each of these releases here on my site, but suffice it to say that some of them are for young children, some for teens, and others for adults. I hope to see you at a concert or retreat at some point, and thanks for taking time to learn a bit more about me and my ministry.
Grace and Peace to you,
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