I began as a trumpet student when I was fifteen years old, which is a little late in life to begin to learn how to play a musical instrument. I was inspired by Harry James who I consider to be the best all around trumpet player that I have ever heard. I use to have a trumpet teacher come to my house once a week to give me a lesson which cost my mother about five dollars, which at the time, was a lot of money for a single working mother to pay out. In high school, Erasmus Hall in Brooklyn, New York, I played with others for the first time and enjoyed working with and fitting in with other fledgling musicians. I can still remember the lead player, who was a senior and more accomplished, who played on a trumpet made by "Selmer", which was the top of the line at the time. Oh how I envied that horn and that spot in the orchestra.

I joined the United States Marine Corps after high school and never expected to be good enough to play in the Marine Band or to even be a bugler but when we were asked in Boot Camp at Parris Island if anyone played a musical instrument, my curiosity got the best of me and I raised my hand. I was told to go to the Band Quarters where I played a few scales and was told to "Get Out". I assumed that it wasn't a very good audition but when it came time to graduate, I was told that I would be stationed at the Marine air base in Opa-Locka, Florida, which is near Miami, and I would be playing trumpet in the 3rd Marine Air-Wing Band. Boy did I catch hell from the drill instructors who thought I had very high connections to get such a plush job. I was later transferred to the 2nd Marine Division at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina where the duty was not so plush but the experience was unforgettable. I left the Marine Corps after three years, having played TAPS at military funerals, more times than I can remember.

Back in civilian life I continued to play with small groups at local high school dances and had a wonderful time. I married the girl of my dreams and together we had five wonderful children. Unfortunately, we lived in an apartment during those early years and practicing the trumpet, raising children and working for a living didn't always go together. I stopped playing the trumpet for many years, which I deeply regret, but I picked it up again after my son joined the Marines and rekindled the patriotic feelings that I always had when I played the trumpet with the Marine Band. I joined the Marine Corps League and began to help them when they were called on to provide services for deceased Marines. There is an extreme shortage of buglers and I wanted to do something about it so I thought about setting up a web site to attract horn players to help out. While searching the web, I found a web site called Bugles Across America which had just been started by a Marine in Chicago by the name of Tom Day. I contacted Tom and asked if I could help and eventually was able to bring in quite a few new players across the country by using various "Trumpet Player" web sites. Tom then made me the first State Director in New Jersey. I have continued to play TAPS for military funerals across the State of New Jersey and have been honored to be called to play for several of the funerals that resulted from the World Trade Center attack as well as for Marines and Soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In addition to playing TAPS at military funerals for Veteran's of all our branches, I am privileged to be able to play with the FULL COUNT BIG BAND, out of Roselle Park, New Jersey. FULL COUNT is a seventeen piece band that plays for wedding, dances, concerts, street fairs and any occasion that requires a full size band. They play tunes from the 40's right up to present day music and will tailor it to the occasion. Visit the FULL COUNT website at http://fullcountbigband.com

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