He holds degrees from the University of North Texas and Southern Methodist University, and has completed all courses and qualifying examinations leading to the Doctor of Music degree in choral conducting at Indiana University. Additional graduate studies were pursued at Westminster Choir College, and the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, where at the age of 22 he was accepted into the conducting class of Helmuth Rilling, and the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart, Germany.
He has performed as a chorister under Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Helmuth Rilling, Robert Shaw, Eduardo Mata, and many others. As a professional choral singer he has concertized, recorded and toured with the Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart. Besides Helmuth Rilling, his primary conducting teachers were Henry Gibbons and Anshel Brusilow.