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Maybe it was the croissants.

Whatever the reason, with only weeks to go before receiving my Master's Degree in Spanish Literature, I dropped everything to play guitar in an eclectic avant-folk-jazz-classical band in Paris.

Within weeks of arriving, I was performing before thousands. I had a record deal with CBS France. I was onstage with the likes of François Béranger (the French Leonard Cohen) and Jack Treese (the French, uh, Jack Treese), in the studio with the irreverent Jacques Higelin, learning alongside legends like Stéphane Grappelli and Gilles Vigneault. Throughout, our renegade little band kept pushing the limits, turning every notion I had about music on its head.

Since then, a few things have changed. Although I still perform, I'm happiest when I'm composing. Once I discovered film scoring, it was like meeting an old friend. I have an ongoing love affair with orchestrating, and a personal commitment to composing children's music that is as intelligent and engaging as the children who listen to it.

I've traded my beret for a Cubs hat, but I'm still a sucker for a good croissant.