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, September 5, 2010

Audition

I've just lasted through what must be the longest, most involved interview process ever devised for a quarter time job. The job is music director for Unitarian Universalist Metro Atlanta North, or UUMAN (pronounced like "human"). If I get the job, I'll be directing the choir, putting together instrumental groups for services, taking part in the planning of worship services, and in general overseeing the music at UUMAN.

After being one of two finalists selected from the interviews, I rehearsed the choir, met with a handful of choir members for lunch, and then participated in this morning's Sunday service (conducting the choir, singing a solo, and leading the hymns). If you factor in preparation time, interviews, this morning's service, and driving, I've probably spent over 15 hours preparing for this 10 hour per week job.

Fifteen hours is a lot of time to spend proving that you're ready for a quarter time position, but I've enjoyed the process. For the first time in my life, I actually enjoyed a job interview. The choir and instrumentalists were a joy to work with, and I met a lot of nice people this week.

Overall, I feel terrific about my audition. I wrote the arrangement for the choral anthem and recruited a handful of instrumentalists from the congregation to complement the choir. Last Wednesday's rehearsal went quite well, and the choir sang superbly this morning. The instrumentalists were enthusiastic about being asked to play, and they did a great job. I can't say enough good things about the piano accompanist, who played beautifully and was absolutely great to work with. My solo was well received.

My audition is over. This week, it's the other person's turn to go through the wringer. Although I'm happy with how I performed musically, the job isn't just about musicianship. It's also about how well I work with the choir, the staff, various committees, and the minister. I have a good feeling about this job. If it turns out I don't win it, it won't be because I had a bad audition. As a matter of fact, this is probably the best audition I've had in my life. There may be intangibles that come into play such as personality or general experience. They may see something in the other candidate that clicks with UUMAN and makes them a better fit.

There's nothing I can do about all that. All I can do now is congratulate myself on a good audition, and then kick back, relax, and wait for the results. UUMAN wants to have a new music director in place by September 20, so I'll hear back from them soon enough.

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