From an early age, Chad was both traditionally and classically trained. The most significant teacher from his youth was his grandfather who began teaching him tunes on whistle. His classical training centered around piano, organ and harpsichord. Later he expanded his experience as a graduate student of ethnomusicology, focusing primarily on North Indian classical music.
Chad began playing wire strung harp in 1985, and as luck would have it, received his first harp lesson from Patrick Ball while volunteering at the Milwaukee Irish Festival. Self-taught on harp for years afterward, he eventually sought out Ann Heymann, the musician responsible for the revival of the Gaelic harp. He was awarded a Folk Arts Apprenticeship grant to study with Ann in 2003, and she became his most influential teacher, as well as a mentor and friend. In 2008 he was invited to perform and teach at Ann Heymann's invitation-only wire harp retreat.
Chad's dedication to the wire strung harp was rewarded on June 27th, 2009, when he competed in and won the national harp competition at the Scottish Games held in Wellington, Ohio, sponsored by the Scottish Harp Society of America. He is only the second wire-strung harper to win the title of National Scottish Harp Champion in the history of the competition, despite formidable competition from nylon lever harpists.
Chad was invited to serve as Artistic Director of the Center for Irish Music in Saint Paul, Minnesota from fall 2009 to fall 2011. He continues to teach harp, whistle and hammer dulcimer at CIM. In 2010, Chad was the recipient of a highly competetive Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. In 2011, the American Composers Forum invited Chad to take part in the launch of their new Composer Teaching Artist training program. In 2012, Chad was one of the four international nominees for the Irish Music Awards 'Top Harpist' category - and the only one playing the Gaelic wire-strung harp.
Chad's playing is rooted deeply in the Irish and Scottish traditions, and is uniquely informed by his knowledge of classical music, both European and East Indian. Chad is active in the Twin Cities traditional music scene, where he plays in the Scots/Irish acoustic band, Rumgumption.