My last "real" job was as the head of the graphics department for the Mark Foster Music Company back in 1998 or so. This overstates the case. I was the graphics department, and I didn't do anything fancy. My two main jobs were to create ads for choral music trade journals and to create printing plates. I've been a freelance music engraver since then, and more recently I've been a freelance guitarist and singer.
For the first time in over a decade, I've applied for a job. This is a quarter time position as director of music at a Unitarian Universalist church in Atlanta. With a 10 hour per week time commitment, money is not the key factor here. Last year, I was interim music director at the Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation. I enjoyed the experience so much that I decided I would send a resume the next time a similar job opened up. Last month I saw a notice for this position, and I sent my resume immediately.
My interview was today. I was only invited to the interview yesterday, which was both good and bad. The downside was that I had very little time to prepare. The upside was that I didn't have time to get nervous and obsessive about it. The interview went quite well. I felt I had good rapport with the minister and the search committee. I didn't have time to anticipate questions, so my answers were off the cuff and heartfelt. I've never felt so comfortable and "myself" at a job interview. Part of that may be due to my increasing confidence as a performer, but mostly I think it was my attitude about the interview. I didn't try to provide the "right" answer to their questions. I presented myself openly and honestly, leaving it up to them to decide if I was what they were looking for. They seemed to have a good feeling about me, and I have a good feeling about them.
They are interviewing a few more candidates. For round two, 2-3 candidates will be invited to audition. Each candidate will lead a choir rehearsal and then lead the choir (and the music in general) for a Sunday service. I feel confident that I'll be invited to the audition round, but I won't know anything for certain until next week.
I'll be looking at some music that I would like to rehearse with the choir. If I'm invited to audition on short notice, I'll be ready. If I'm not invited to audition, well, time spent studying music is never wasted. Aside from studying some musical scores, this week will be business as usual: practicing, music engraving, rehearsing, and scaring up gigs.
- Tom Godfrey
- Atlanta, GA, United States
- When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995, served as Director of Music at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation from 2011 to 2017, and currently serve as Contemporary Band Director at the same congregation.