California Tableaux is a developing two-act opera that synthesizes music, sound collage, video, dance and text to to tell a kaleidoscopic, provocative story of California's pivotal cultural intersections, from Sir Francis Drake's alleged landing on the Marin County coast in 1579 to the present.  The video below is a 'trailer' that weaves together the opening two minutes of the Overture (composed as of 12/3/16) followed by excerpts of chamber works that are part of the opera (you can explore the entire project here).  I intend to finish an album performance of the work in late 2017 and premiere the complete production in 2018.  While you may wish to just watch the video (accessible by clicking on the image), I have also made available a score that stitches the excerpts together.

California Tableaux Project
The second video is a performance of one of the chamber pieces associated with the California Tableaux Project as realized by my duo, the McAllister Keller Duo.  Again, I provide here both a video of a complete performance and a full score. 

Mixtures~Crossfades~Foci (2013)
for two guitars


* * * 

Horse Thieves: 
'Bout Damn Time 
(released July, 2016)

Released this past July, 'Bout Damn Time is a new album of 'prog' and 'new' rock music. I have produced everything on the album: compositions, guitar parts, vocal parts, programming (drums, bass and keys), mixing, editing, and mastering.   Please feel free to scroll through the track list and audition the songs.  I will be playing this out in 2017 with my power trio, Horse Thieves. There are no scores/charts available for the album, so please enjoy just listening. 

* * * 

For further interest in my music and performances (guitar and voice) please use the menus at the top of the page: 



What do you consider to be most critical to the education of 21st-Century musicians? And how would you approach the teaching of an introductory composition class (for undergraduate composition majors) with your response in mind?

Creative versatility is one of the most critical components that I strive to instill in my composition students.   While the internet, cheaper computers, and powerful software have made producing and promoting one's music easier, becoming a 'successful' composer has become actually harder - because there is more of us out there with whom to compete - whom also have the same tools at their fingertips.  Thus it is critical for a young composer to be able to find and develop in themselves a versatile set of compositional, instrumental, and technological skills to ensure performances of their work.  

In my seminars and composition studio, I strive to instill in my students a sense of self-motivation and self-reliance that goes beyond composing a piece and expecting someone else to play it.  I urge them to conduct and even perform the work themselves, if the instrumentation includes their own instrument (which is also critical:  a composition student must develop a modicum of instrumental experience whether it be their own voice, an instrument, or some form of music technology).  As a student develops a composition, I help them create a timeline of preparedness based on a proposed performance date:  when the score and parts need to be delivered, scheduling rehearsals, arranging for and audio/visual recording, etc.   After the performance, I encourage my students to build their own website to make their portfolio available - which takes technological and self-promotional know-how. I make it very clear that if a student wants to 'get the gig' in this artistic climate, they have to be versatile. 

With respect to an introductory composition class, many of the ideas above were developed over the years while teaching composition seminar at the following institutions: UGA, UCSD, Oberlin, and now WJU.  I design my seminars with the following student objectives:

  • to challenge the individual's level of creativity
  • to combine inherent musical interests with ways of musical thinking that are unfamiliar
  • to collaborate and develop musical ideas with performer-colleagues
  • to prepare a composition for performance at a professional level 

When teaching these seminars I take care to adjust my teaching strategies with respect to the students' varied levels of experience in composing.  Depending on the size of the seminar and the instrumental ability of the students, I often encourage my students to either conduct or perform their own work in some capacity.  In the former case, they need to engage performer-colleagues to play the piece. In the latter case, I encourage them to engage another classmate to conduct the work. This approach has made it possible for every student to successfully design, compose, and have a new work performed at the end of the term, whether it is a chamber work for 3 or 4 mixed instruments, or violin and turntable (truth!). Additionally, the students learn the collaborative nature of music making and appreciate all the different phases of creating a work of art. 


While a traditional upper division course, I approach teaching Form and Analysis (website) a little differently. I contextualize the the study of form through the historical periods because the forms become more relevant in doing so.  Further, I sometimes make assignments collaborative and require group presentation featuring their analytical findings. Please click on the highlighted text above to be delivered to a website that I built for the course. You will find all of the assignment descriptions through the 'Calendar' link.

* * * 


Musical Hybrids: Intersections of the Historical, Popular and Avant Garde

Interactive Media and Art

Theory of Popular Music

* * * 

(links below)

(links below)