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, July 3, 2012

Piano Debut

A few months ago, I started taking piano lessons. At the time, I wanted to learn both classical and jazz piano. With my busy schedule, I found it difficult to find time to work on both styles. I chose to focus on classical piano for a few different reasons. First of all, even though I'm a jazz guitarist, I found myself drawn more the classical side of piano. Second, my first major goal is to be able to play hymns for church services and choral piano accompaniments if my accompanist is absent. Classical piano focuses more on reading, which is a skill I'll need for those hymns and choir accompaniments.

My eventual goal is to be a well rounded pianist who can play classical and jazz, is a good sight-reader, is qualified to teach privately, and is equally comfortable playing for church or cocktails. I will eventually turn my attention to jazz piano, but I plan on spending a year or so getting comfortable with classical piano first.

Considering I've only been playing five months, I'm happy with my progress. Among other things, I'm working on Bach Two-Part Inventions and Chopin waltzes. That's not to say that this music is ready for performance or that I can even play it up to tempo, but I'm tackling piano music that I didn't expect to be able to play this soon.

I had planned on playing piano in public after about a year of lessons, but that timetable has been moved up. I'm playing guitar in a musical with Act3 Productions called By Wheel and By Wing. The Keyboard 2 player won't be there Friday, and I'll be covering the keyboard part for a song in which the guitar doesn't play. This is a very simple keyboard part…mostly sustained chords. Still, I'm looking forward to making my debut on keyboard, even if the part isn't challenging. It's not time to break out the candelabra just yet, but this should be fun.

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