Where did you grow up? Rapid City, SD.
Where do you currently live? Roslindale, MA (part of Boston).
What instruments do you play? Cello. I am fortunate to share music with the best stand partner in the world!
Educational background: Rapid City Public Schools; Boston University for BM and MM.
Family, Pets, Kids: Married to violinist (and occasional PSO extra) Marla Rubinson.
How did you get started in music? My mother started me on piano when I was eight, then I took public school band and orchestra playing baritone horn and cello respectively. Later in high school, I played bass guitar in some groups. A cello teacher moved to town when I was sixteen and told me to go to the BU program at Tanglewood (in MA). I got really hooked on orchestral music there.
What non-PSO musical activities do you participate in? I am a cellist with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and an extra player for the Boston Symphony. I am a member of the Orlando Chamber Soloists and have also been performing with the West Stockbridge Chamber Players. I’m on the faculty at USM, teach privately in Boston and have held master classes at other colleges around the country.
What’s your favorite PSO memory to date? Nothing brings an orchestra closer together than traveling. Many of the trips around Maine stand out, especially performing in Greenville in deep winter. The whole town came out for the concert in the high school and then joined us afterward at the restaurant. It just felt like we really made a huge difference for a lot of people.
Describe a typical day: Well days are never the same but it is not uncommon for the day to start with a rehearsal, a few hours of teaching in the afternoon and then a concert in the evening. Before, in between and/or after will be several hours of practicing too. It starts to get complicated if the day involves driving back and forth to Boston too.
What question or comment do you get most often when you tell people you play with the PSO? Wow that’s cool, what is it like to do something you love for your living?
If you couldn’t be a musician, what would be your dream job? Park ranger in the national parks or else a horse wrangler. People in my family have been both of those things; I’ve always been a little envious. Just like music, though, I know that what you see is different from how it really is. I really wouldn’t trade being a musician for anything, it’s the best!
Any non-musical hobbies? I grew up riding and working with horses on our ranch. Unfortunately, they are not practical in my yard in Boston so I’ve developed a love of hiking and the outdoors in general. I enjoy reading history, especially about the American West, but am not an expert on any particular topic.
What is your favorite music? What are you currently listening to? It might be surprising but, since I usually have the cello in my hands 8-10 hours a day a lot of times, I just like quiet. When I drive it is usually quiet – there’s time to think about music, how to teach particular students or what to program for recitals. Classical is certainly my favorite and I do listen esp. to the great soloists from the past.
Who or what has been your greatest influence, musical or otherwise? After traveling in other countries, I am always aware of the freedom and sense of possibility that comes from being raised in the US. The attitude that anything is possible – you can be whatever you want, it just takes work. The Great Plains are a long way from life in the orchestra but here anything can happen.
Favorite eats in Portland? Great Lost Bear is the most regular, longest running favorite. Gritty’s, Sebago and Corner Room are popular with my crowd. My wife and family like DiMillo’s too. We go to a lot of other Portland restaurants too, what a great town for food.
Contact Info for potential students: (e) firstname.lastname@example.org. I teach students from middle school on up through old age.