My journey with the piano is also the story of my life. I began taking lessons in elementary school and the first memory I have of performing in front of an audience was in elementary school, being called out of class and asked to perform for the school PTA.
Life can be challenging during middle school, even more so for someone who is autistic (Aspergers) with ADHD. While my classmates were exploring the intricacies of relationships, I was sitting behind a grand piano, forming a different kind of relationship.
I continued taking piano lessons through high school and college. Over time, my interest grew to include computers, composition and conducting.
I was introduced to improvisation and the Jazz Band genre while I attended junior college as my choir performed with Don Ellis and his band in concert. (I made my conducting debut during one of the concerts, leading the choir in a 15/16 composition while the instructor led the band.) Although I mastered solfege during this time, the art of improvisation eluded me.
My formal music education includes A.A., B.A. and Master of Music degrees under scholarships and graduate teaching assistantships. My major instrument was the piano. As a member of Frank Pooler's choir, I had the opportunity to sing backup vocals for The Carpenters.
I performed in USO shows as an vocalist and keyboard player during my time in college, giving me a chance to visit Hawaii, Guam, Philippines, Thailand, Australia, Diego Garcia, and Vietnam.
I consider myself a New Age (I prefer "Neo-Impressionist") pianist /composer. Three of my CDs are featured on Pandora ("Richard Dillon" radio) and are also available for sale on iTunes and Amazon.com.