Russ received his undergraduate degree at Duquesne University and his masters at Carnegie Mellon University. Both a musician and educator, Russ has performed around the country and in Scotland and Canada with such ensembles as the American Wind Symphony Orchestra, the River City Brass Band, the Westmoreland Symphony, the McKeesport Symphony and the Big Easy Jazz Band.
Russ has been involved in music education since 1982 when as a high school student, he worked as a marching band staff music instructor. Russ’s experience as an educator includes several years in the Pittsburgh City Schools. Since 1996 he has worked in the Carlynton School District, originally hired as the High School Marching Band Director. He is now working with the elementary band program where he is able to introduce young musicians to the joy of music while giving them the firmest of musical foundations.
His most influential teachers include Matty Shiner, Sumner Erickson, Edward Kleinhammer and Arnold Jacobs. He makes his home in the South Hills of Pittsburgh with his wife Diane and his two sons Luke and Liam.