First, I kinda suck at blogging. I need to get better at this!
Second, if you follow me on any social media platform, you know by now that I accepted the position of director of music at Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School in Wichita, KS. It's a return home for my family; Megan and I are both from Kansas, and we are excited to be back. We are less than a mile from her parents, and 90 minutes from my mom. And, Sam gets to grow up near his cousins, which we're really pleased about.
Plus, I have some great students in my new program, and they're motivated to accomplish great things. It's a great fit already. It's COMPLETELY different than anything I've ever done. Maybe that's why I like it so much...
It's been a whirlwind 2018. My dad passed away in January, and my dear aunt (mom's sister) passed away earlier in August. Pretty amazing how important family becomes when they're not here anymore. Additionally, Megan and I both accepted, and started, new jobs in the ICT, while Sam started a new school.
AND, I'm still gigging, writing, and trying like mad to finish my record! The latter has, naturally, become slightly difficult, since I need to head to Columbia and do this...
Still, with everything that's going on, I'm staying active in my career as a musician and composer. I was recently named the inaugural composer-in-residence for the 2019 KC Area Youth Jazz initiative, which will feature talented high school players in the Kansas City area performing my original music. This will culminate in an album, which will be released by ARC in November 2019. TO say that I'm thrilled for this chance is an understatement.
MERGE is going strong. The terrific pianist/singer Justin Binek has joined the band, and I'm stoked. He's an amazing player and person. Mark Tonelli and I are very happy to make music with this guy. I've been working a lot with some great young players in KC: Joey Panella, Daniel Hogans, and Dominique Sanders have been killing it on the bass and drum chairs for a few months. My bro, the great drummer Kevin Rutschmann, is going to play some with us soon, as well.
Change is natural, even if it is scary as hell. Still, I am grateful to get this life to spend with my family, friends, and students.