Lars has a Bachelor’s in English (Creative Writing emphasis) from Augustana College. He started voice lessons at age 8, piano at 9, clarinet at 12, guitar at 13, bass guitar at 15, ukelele at 20, sitar at 30. His primary instrument is the classical guitar, which he studied formally with Randy Pobanz at Augustana College. He also plays electric guitar and charango.
Lars has 22 years of experience in music performance, 21 years of experience in studio and live recording (credits include SAU professor Bill Campbell’s album Piano Songs, soundtracks for 3 PBS Artists in Profile specials, and a live multitrack for Irish singer Tommy Sands), and 18 years of experience in stagecraft, including stage management, lighting design (Grace Potter, Eisley), and audio (credits include Victor Wooten, Tim Reynolds, Paper Bird, Savoy Brown, Portland Cello Project).
Lars' educational career began in High School, tutoring peers in Algebra and Trigonometry. He led the “student action committee” that created a new tutoring program. For his first professional teaching gig, Lars served as a teacher’s assistant for a high school Special Education program in Easton, MA. He also tutored at the Ivy Learning Center in Sharon, MA - mainly higher math and SAT prep. Then, at the University of Alabama, he taught first-year English Literature and Composition. Finally, Lars returned to the Quad Cities where he co-founded the Sound Lab at the River Music Experience and served as its head instructor for four years. Lars also taught at the Quad Cities Rock Camp during those years. Today, he offers private audio consulting for churches and recording studios as well as one-on-one instruction in audio engineering through his company: River Drive Records.
Additionally, Lars does freelance IT work for Chicago-based Yellow Dog Interactive Media. Yellow Dog provides networking and WiFi for major music festivals (Bonnaroo, Forecastle, Life is Beautiful). Lars is currently involved in a number of groups, including Ragaman (original music - Guitar, Sitar, Charango, Voice) and Have Your Cake (Cake Tribute band - Lead Guitar, Voice)
Lars' hobbies and interests include web design, photography, software development, the history of warfare, happiness theory, and Aikido.
He recently traveled to Ontario, Canada to visit Lake Simcoe, and help build the networking infrastructure of a rural music festival!
Lars says his favorite thing about teaching is the surprises. "New songs and bands I learn about from students. Being forced to play scales."
One of Lars' most interesting musical/educational experiences: "I grabbed a bass and jumped into a jam session at the Mississippi Valley Blues Fest after-party a few years ago. After one song, the man in charge came up and said, “We need a blues bassist.” I knew he was right - I had been trained as a jazz bassist and I was overplaying. Too many notes, too much movement. I went outside to get some air and asked the other musicians for their take on it. They all just said one thing - “Protect the groove.” I’ll never forget that phrase.
One last thing: Lars is getting married in October!