April 2, 2010
1. Both you and your family have an incredible commitment to the arts. Why are the arts so important to you?
Music has always been an important part of my life. I am much younger than my four siblings, so I was listening to trumpets, trombones, saxophones, and piano playing everything from Bach to Boogie Woogie before I could talk. My mother was a church organist, and the organ console fascinated me with all its stop tabs, pistons, etc. It is clear to me now that all forms of art offer a means of escape from the hectic pace of life, and also a means of expressing one’s feelings.
2. What drew you to the FOKO Board – what interests you most about our programs?
When Judy and I lived in Portland in the mid 60s, I attended several Kotzschmar concerts and was impressed both by the size of the instrument and its state of disrepair. When we returned thirty years later, I was attracted to the opportunity to help preserve this fine and unique instrument. The biggest challenge for FOKO is to build future audiences, which our relatively new educational programs are committed to doing. It
seems to me that these programs are at least as important as the maintenance of the organ, if not more so.
3. What is your background in music?
I started piano when I was seven or eight, and responded to a “desperate shortage” of organists in Guilford by becoming organist of the Methodist Church there when I was a sophomore in high school (my mother was organist in the Universalist Church). That experience, and two others in Vermont and Massachusetts, are the only times I have been a regular organist. I have “subbed” occasionally, including playing at what is now the Grace restaurant on Chestnut Street in Portland and continue to fill in at the First Parish in Yarmouth a few times a year. I also played sousaphone in high school and at the University of Maine, where I was President of the band.