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 and have been music director at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation since 2011.

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.