Notable for his symphonic, band, and drum & bugle corps compositions, he published close to 1,000 musical works in the first four decades of his career. His most well known compositions include Earhart: Sounds of Courage, The Sound and the Fury and symphonies honoring the literary work of Dante, Homer, and Cervantes.
After graduating from Troy State University (where he led the trumpet section of the school's marching band, Sound of the South), he completed a master's degree in music and media at the University of Miami and subsequently worked for both Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros before accepting a teaching position at his undergraduate alma mater.
His musical works Don Quixote and New Day Rising were Independent Music Awards finalists.
He was born and raised in Daleville, Alabama. His wife, Susan Smith, had a career as a bandleader.
He was born in the same year as fellow American composer Anthony Branker.