Somehow, even before I was old enough to understand that music didn't just fall down to us from the sky, that it came from the pens of creative grown-ups, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the wonderful and magical phenomenon called "music."
My parents exposed me to good music early on and demonstrated that it could be played, not just on the radio, but also on instruments. My father loved playing the accordion and it fascinated me to watch him and listen. He was also skilled on the violin. My mother sang and played the mandolin. Both my parents had had a rough time in Europe during WWII. My mother had endured extreme poverty. My father had been one of many innocents held in internment camps. When he volunteered to take on the role of camp bugler, this endeared him to the officials and earned him preferential treatment. Quite possibly, because of this happy circumstance, he was able to avoid the terrible fate that claimed many others. My parents were fortunate to escape war-torn Europe and finally settle in Cleveland, OH in 1951.
After my parents got married and I came into the picture, my mother became the primary spiritual guide in my life. She sang for many years in church and community choirs. This inspired me to use the musical talents God gave me in His service.
At sixteen I started composing in earnest, refining the skill years later in college. In the meantime, I convinced the organist at my church in Brunswick, OH to give me organ lessons. By this time, I had already been performing in church on the trombone and trumpet. My desire to learn keyboard was actually a selfish one. It wasn't that I aspired to be an organist. I just wanted keyboard skills to help facilitate the process of composing -- it was hard to play more than one note at a time on a trombone! She consented as long as I would be willing to learn the Lutheran liturgy and play church services. I agreed, but the arrangement would be short-lived. Two years later, having graduated from college with an electrical engineering degree, I moved to Colorado Springs with my parents.
After arriving in the Springs in 1978, I experienced three major events: landing a job at Ampex Corp., finding a church that needed an organist, and getting married. Since then, I've changed jobs a few times, but I've held on to the same woman and I still play at the same church. My wonderful wife Darlene has been my constant companion since 1980, not only in life, but also in the musical activities of our church, Rock of Ages Lutheran, where she often directs the choir. The Lord has chosen to bless us with two daughters, Sonja and Tiffany, both of whom have inherited our appreciation and talent for music to some degree. Both of them play in our church's handbell choir and Sonja even directs the summer sessions.
In the early 1990s one of my loftiest dreams became reality when a publisher accepted some music I had submitted. Other publishers followed suit over the years until I had organ preludes, choral music, brass quartets and other instrumental music in publication. It was a great feeling to be published, but dealing with publishers soon became more frustrating than it was worth. Hence, the reason I created Wolf's Music Den.
Today, even though I have a day job that involves maintaining arcade games, and a side job in which I repair pinball machines, I continue to explore the wonderful and magical phenomenon called "music."