About Me

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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.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Losing It #8: Vocal Health

So far I've lost 66 pounds. I have 57 pounds to go before I reach my target weight. Through this process, I've experienced many positive changes. I look and feel better. My knees don't bother me as much. I have more confidence in my personal life and as a performer.

What I didn't realize was that my singing would improve with my weight loss. The exercise certainly helps. I have more stamina for long gigs, and I have better breath support. I think it's mainly the change in diet that has helped strengthen my voice. During the past few years, I've had a slight, constant cough. I couldn't breathe too deeply for fear of inducing a coughing fit. The less air I could take in, the less control I had over phrasing and pitch.

The following foods are bad for your vocal health: salty foods, fried foods, acidic foods (i.e. pizza sauce), and milk and dairy isn't so great, either. At my peak weight, I was eating lots of chips, ice cream, pizza, and fried foods. Hmm, does anyone see a correlation?

My diet is a lot cleaner these days: baked foods instead of fried, salads instead of french fries, and chips and ice cream aren't even in the picture. I changed my diet to lose weight, but it sure was a nice surprise to find that it's also helping to strengthen my singing voice.


  1. It's incredible what you've been able to accomplish both personally and professionally in a short period of time just through willpower and tenacity. I see a book and seminars in your future...

  2. Funny you should mention that. I've been thinking about a book.