First look at a new musical

I wrote previously about 19, The Musical, a show I’m scoring about suffragist Alice Paul and the fight for votes for women. I’m pleased to report that the first act is being staged at a workshop in Northern Virginia in a couple of weeks. The evening will include light hors d’oeuvres and a Q&A with my talented collaborators, the writers, directors, and lyricists Jennifer Schwed and Doug Bradshaw. For more information, visit

Home improvement

I am a brand new person. And, dare I say it, a better one. Why, you ask? Because I got a dog.
A few weeks ago I went to Animal Control in Frederick, Maryland, and walked away with possibly the mutty-est mutt of all time. Her name is Cleo A. Taylor, and she’s a five-month-old mix of Springer spaniel, poodle, and rocket fuel.
I have always had some difficulty switching from one project to the next throughout the day. Going from a film score to a jazz tune for my band, for example, required a 15-minute adjustment period. And by “adjustment period,” I mean “nap.” But that has changed. Now, any time I need to shift gears, I simply walk the dog. It is one of those activities that is like watching waves at the shore or studying a campfire: it has nearly zero focus and yet it can occupy all of your attention. So far, I haven’t seen any effects on my musical output, but they may be coming. And in the meantime, Cleo is waiting patiently under my desk for me to finish this blog post so I can shift gears and we can go for another walk.