Todd plays solo piano, accompanies the singers (and sings himself) every Monday evening at La Casa Sena Cantina in Santa Fe, which he describes as his favorite venue. He performs as a pianist/singer at many venues and he estimates that he’s played 1,200 wedding receptions in his career.
Todd holds a Master of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas. He majored in each of the following areas: Piano, Voice and Composition/Theory. He also earned a minor in philosophy.
Todd has a B.A. in music, with honors, from Macalester College.
Todd also studied Third Stream Music at the New England Conservatory with pianist Ran Blake.
Todd is a graduate cum laude of the University of Minnesota Law School . Since 1991, has been an attorney licensed in the state of Wisconsin. Todd was the Director of Business and Legal Affairs for Hal Leonard Corporation, the world’s largest music print publisher, throughout most of the 1990’s. He represented Hal Leonard in Federal Court in New York City during Andrew Lloyd Webbers’ copyright infringement case. However, Todd realized that he was a creator at heart and he eventually returned to being a musician. Today Todd is listed as “non-practicing,” although he gives seminars to musicians on legal matters and writes articles about copyright law.
Todd’s first job out of graduate school was as the Music Supervisor at Busch Gardens Theme Park in Williamsburg, VA, where he supervised approximately 150 musicians, singers and dancers, arranged music for eight shows, auditioned 2,000 college-age students each year and arranged and produced several cast albums.
About this time, Todd became associated with the American singer Patricia Neway, who originated the role of the Mother Abbess in the original Broadway production of “The Sound of Music.” For several years, Todd took voice lessons from Neway (who had changed her name to Frances Breeze and taught at the College of William and Mary) and became her studio pianist. Todd also began to play solo piano gigs in local hotels. Todd has played at dozens of venues, including two of the “Top Ten Hotels in America” (as named by USA Today): The American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin, and the Williamsburg Inn in Williamsburg, VA.
Todd fronted numerous bands in his career, playing keyboards, often playing keyboard bass and usually doing the lead singing. Roy Wooten (a/k/a “Future Man,” who plays with Bela Fleck) was in Todd’s band in the 1980’s. Todd’s trio No Bass Hit has performed at the Outpost Performance Space.
Todd began playing for dance classes during college when he worked for the Andahazy Ballet--Lorand Andahazy had danced in the Ballet Russe. Todd spent a year working for the College of William and Mary dance department, which taught modern dance in the Martha Graham style. Todd also played for the Minnesota Dance Theater (where he was Artistic Director Loyce Holton’s personal pianist), The Children’s Theater Company, the Aspen-Santa Fe Ballet and others. He has also worked as a pianist for Anne Reinking and Melissa Hayden.
Beginning in 1986, Todd was a staff arranger for the world’s largest music print publisher Hal Leonard Corporation, where he wrote approximately 2,000 arrangements that were published. His favorite projects were “The Complete Beatles,” “Les Miserables Vocal Selections” and “Phantom of the Opera Vocal Selections.” Todd’s arrangements were personally approved of by such prominent composers as Andrew Lloyd Webber, Michel Legrand, and Stephen Sondheim.
In the late 1980’s Todd was also a freelance music critic for the Milwaukee Journal where he wrote hundreds of concert reviews and feature articles. Todd has sung on national jingles recorded in both Dallas and Richmond. In the 1990’s Todd served on the Board of Directors of Present Music, one of the most successful contemporary musical ensembles in the U.S.
Todd has taught at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee (songwriting and music business), Alverno College (music business) and presented workshops on Music Law at the Wisconsin State Bar Association and the National Conference of State Legislators.
Todd moved to New Mexico in 1998 and began working for NDI in 1999.Todd played his first NDI show in 2000 (“100 Years”) and music directed his first NDI show in 2001 (“Celebrate the Beat’). Todd became the official Albuquerque Music Director in 2003 and was Music Director until 2011. In 2014, he was named Music Director again. He music directed numerous NDI shows including “Got Jazz,” “Jo Kid,” “Route 66,” “What’s the Big Idea,” “Zing” and remakes of “100 Years” and “Celebrate the Beat.”
Todd began working with singer Kari Simmons in 2000 and the two have since recorded 6 CDs together (see list) and still perform as a duo. Several musical revues that Todd created have become popular vehicles for the duo, including “As Time Goes By: The Songs of World War II,” “Reel Romance: Hollywood’s Greatest Love Songs” and “All You Need Is Love: The Songs of the 1960’s”
Todd has recorded one CD of jazz and blues standards. Todd recorded a CD of original songs in 1998 entitled “Harmony of the World.” He recorded an all-original Christmas album in 2014 and released “Little Hallelujahs” in February 2015.
Todd started composing music when he was 12 years old and has composed regularly and consistently for his entire life. He wrote a musical based on O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi,” which was performed 2008 and 2009 and recorded on CD. Todd recently completed another musical entitled “The Emperor’s Three Questions.” Todd also has a one-act musical “in his box” entitled “The Shoemaker” (based on a story by Tolstoy). He’s been working for years on an opera about the abolitionist John Brown.
Todd wrote a full score for “The Tempest” (Virginia Shakespeare Festival) and scored the documentary film “Hill’s Folly.” He’s written hundreds of songs, ballets, modern dance pieces, choral music and chamber music for various ensembles.
Todd’s music appeared on a Grammy-nominated album in 1990. He won the “Best Song” Award at the 2005 New Mexico Music Awards. His music has been published by Hal Leonard, by the Association of Unity Churches and it even appears in in the Methodist Hymnal.
Todd has performed in or music directed such shows as “West Side Story,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Once Upon a Mattress,” “ Fiddler on the Roof,” “How to Succeed In Business,” “Guys and Dolls ,” “TheTender Land “ (Copland) and many others.
Todd has presented piano workshops throughout the state. While in New Mexico, Todd has taught at The Public Academy for the Performing Arts (piano),