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.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Getting There

I'm beginning to feel like I'm starting to get somewhere with my music career. This is old news to those who follow my blog, but to recap: I started out as a trombone player. While I was a musician in the Air Force, I injured my lip to the point where I couldn't play anymore. After the Air Force, I started freelance music engraving, building my clientele to the point where I was doing quite well. Financially, I was raking it in, but I wasn't very happy. About 7 years ago, I started learning to play guitar, and this reignited the fire. I just knew I had to be a musician again. I soon started cutting back on music engraving so that I could spend more time practicing the guitar. While my guitar playing improved rapidly, my finances suffered greatly. Among other factors, my dedication to the guitar and curtailed income contributed to a failed marriage.

The past few years have been musically satisfying but financially lean. I've had to borrow money for groceries, and I've literally been down to my last dollar more than once. I'm fortunate to have a landlady who understands my situation. I've been two months late on rent, but at least I've always been able to catch up. Still, I understand that even her patience will only go so far.

Fortunately, things are looking up. I'm starting to get better gigs, I have enough music engraving work to keep me busy (but not too busy), and my music director position at NWUUC is just what I need – a steady job that is personally satisfying, and not so time consuming that it detracts from my performance aspirations.

I'm not getting rich from all of this (at least monetarily), but I've managed to right the ship, and I'm finally to a point where I'm not so stressed about my bills. I've had doubts about my path over the last year, but I'm glad I hung in there. I've met some difficult challenges, and I sense that things will continue getting better.

There's still plenty that I want to do. I'm content with the amount of music engraving projects I receive, so I don't need to make any more progress in that area. While the music director job at NWUUC is quarter time, I anticipate that this job will expand. I still have a long way to go before I'm getting the kind of corporate gigs I'd like to be playing, but I'm making steady progress in that direction. InTown Band will have a steady gig in the very near future, and we've got big plans for Tea for Two, including recording an album early next year. InTown Band is going to start recording soon, and I'm considering a solo CD.

While I still have plenty of work to do, I've made it through a bad patch, and I'm starting to gain some momentum. Playing and singing has been musically satisfying all along. Money isn't everything, but it's nice to finally be gaining some financial security from all the hard work.

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