Ever since his mother began teaching him to play the piano at the age of five, Matt has loved music. Impressed by a trumpet solo a few years later, he borrowed a trumpet from his uncle and began to practice it at the age of ten. Throughout his childhood and teenage years, practicing these two instruments took precedence over chores, homework, play, and his siblings’ sleep schedules.
While studying trumpet at the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts, Matt grew to love jazz and musical theater, and played in the orchestra for the school’s productions of Beauty and the Beast and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Other projects during high school included: organizing a jazz combo to play at weddings and corporate events, in which he both played the piano and arranged the music; starting a ska band called The Shifty Penguins, for which he played the trumpet and arranged vocal and brass parts, and which became the second-biggest ska band in Las Vegas during its run; and organizing a mariachi group for a one-time performance at a local church.
He went on to study jazz at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he had the privilege of studying with trumpet legend Bobby Shew, and had opportunities to play with The Manhattan Transfer, Forbidden Broadway, Don Menza, and Chris Potter. He continued to arrange jazz and ska music, and also began to compose music of his own.
After taking two years off work and school to serve as a full-time missionary in Northwest Germany, Matt continued his studies at Brigham Young University with emphasis in commercial music. There he developed a love for songwriting and film scoring, and has written several songs and a variety of music for student films, both on his own and in collaboration with other students. He also continues performing to this day, playing the trumpet with groups such as the BYU Wind Symphony and the BYU Young Ambassadors Show Band.
While at BYU he met Joanna McLaren, who was studying to teach kindergarten. They are now married and hope to raise a family together, though he is hoping for daughters, while she hopes to have sons. They currently reside in Provo, Utah.
Pick Your Own Adventure
Film by Pick Your Own Adventure Films/Austin Everett Lead Music Composer
Brigham Young University
University of Nevada, Las Vegas