Biography

Thank you for visiting my website! Here is a little information about my life and interests....

       I was born in Rochester, New York and grew up in the suburb of Brighton. I attended
The Harley School from 1941 to 1956, and graduated in a small class of seventeen students. I began to play the piano at a very early age, and have enjoyed the ability to play by ear throughout my life. I studied classical piano from the age of nine. I graduated from Haverford College with a B.A. In Philosophy in 1960, and was very active there as a singer, accompanist, and student conductor of the Haverford College Glee Club. An indelible impression was made upon my musical tastes and values by Professor Alfred Swan, composer and scholar of Russian music. I enrolled at Harvard University as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and received the M.A. In Musicology in 1963. My Masters' thesis was entitled "The Solo Songs of Hector Berlioz." It was at Harvard that I met Beth Alice Baehr, a fellow musicology graduate student, and we were married at the Andover Newton Chapel of the Harvard Divinity School in September, 1962.

       In 1963 we moved to Seattle, Washington, where I became a teacher and choral conductor at the Lakeside School. In 1965 we returned to the east, and I began my career in college teaching at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In the summer of 1966 I enrolled at the Eastman School of Music in the field of musicology, and completed the Ph.D. in 1971. The subject of my dissertation was the first performance in Paris, 1913 of Igor Stravinsky’s ballet The Rite of Spring, and the critical reception of this revolutionary work for one year following the premiere. I have continued to do research in Russian music and culture throughout my professional life.

       Conducting study and master classes with William Reese, Robert Fountain, and Robert Shaw enhanced my abilities as a choral conductor, and I began in the early 1970s to compose and arrange music for chorus. The Dickinson College Choir of one hundred voices performed on campus and as a frequently invited chorus of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra from 1976 to 2000. The Chamber Choir provided weekly sacred music for worship at the college.

       A Sabbatical leave in London in 1973-1974 made it possible for me to begin to learn the bassoon and to continue my study of Russian. Subsequent bassoon study with Loren Glickman and Mark Popkin at the wonderful Glickman-Popkin Bassoon Camp has continued from the mid-seventies to the present day. In 1980 my wife and I were Arthur Prowse Fellows at the University of Durham for a spring term.

       College and university teaching have been my central vocation, and I was the winner of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching as voted by the faculty of Dickinson College in 1971, and the Ganoe Award for Inspirational Teaching as voted by the graduating class in 1992. I retired from the faculty at Dickinson College in 2000, but have continued my long association as an Adjunct Professor of Musicology at the Eastman School of Music where I offer seminars in Russian music each summer to graduate students.

       I continue to compose music on commission for various choirs, to do research n Russian music, and to perform as a bassoonist with the Central Pennsylvania Symphony, the Dickinson College-Community Orchestra, the York Symphony, and the Lydian Winds. From 1974-1984 I was the pianist in the Buzz Jones Big Band and from 1984-1994 I held the Principal Keyboard Chair of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra I was appointed Music Director of the Harrisburg Choral Society in 2000, and will hold that position until 2004.

       Beth Bullard and I are parishioners at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Carlisle, and we have two sons: Charles Martin, a psychotherapist in Seattle, and Dexter Gregory, a professional theatre director in Chicago and an Assistant Professor of Theatre at DePaul University.

       I would enjoy corresponding with people with similar interests, and thank you for reading this autobiographical sketch.

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