When I turned fifteen, the Teen Choir in our church was on the verge of falling apart because the previous conductor said that he could no longer manage it. I offered to take over. I was only a year older than the oldest choir member. It was my first experience organizing and conducting a choir.
When I turned seventeen I began studying violin. I had a really good friend, Vadim Demchuk, who played in our church orchestra, and I really wanted to play with him. So I got a part-time summer job and earned $240. I bought myself a violin and started practicing with minimal guidance from Vadim. However, practicing without a teacher is not advisable and I ended up with some terrible habits. That's when I found a good teacher started to study with Aleksandra Sokolova. She really helped me straighten out my bad habits. The reconstruction of my hand posture proved to be quite difficult, but somehow I managed to get through it.
After I finished high school, I studied with Dr. Joe Gilman at American River College. He was a fabulous musician who really inspired me to become a good teacher in the future. Not only did he have wonderful skills on the piano, he was an entertaining and successful instructor. I spent a wonderful two years with him. During this time I also took chamber singing and concert choir with Dr. Ralph Hughes. I sang with him for about two years. A year after I finished American River College, Dr. Hughes recommended me to Gethsemane Lutheran Church where he used to be a choral director. I started working there as the Music Director in December 2009. During that time I also became the Youth Choir Director at Missionary Gospel Church.
After American River I studied with Dr. Lorna Peters at Sacramento State University. She opened my eyes to proper practicing methods and advanced techniques, such as visualization and weight control. She also helped me understand the difficulties of performance and how to work through them. I also studied conducting with Dr. Ronald Kendrik. He introduced a different angle of conducting a choir and helped me bring my conducting to a higher level which was evident as I began to organize bigger concerts with my choirs.
In the beginning of 2011 I began courting my wife Anastasia. She was from Belarus and was studying to be an English Major. We would take long walks together along the river. She inspired me to write my Piano Fantasy Op. 4. On July 7th, 2012, we were married. On August 19th, 2013 we had our first baby girl, Annabel Grace, and on April 7th, 2015 we had our first baby boy, Benjamin Thomas.
Currently I am focused on teaching piano full time. I opened up my own piano studio in Citrus Heights California and I strive to be the best teacher in my area. I continue to write music and books for my students and as of 2017 I have publish 10 books on Amazon. I direct two choirs at Gethsemane Lutheran Church and Lutheran Church Of Our Redeemer. My plans for the future include more books, new music, and to grow as a musical influence in my area.