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.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Upward Trajectory

I just realized that compared to last year at this time, my gig calendar looks pretty full, and most of those gigs are (gasp!) for pay. I'm so pleased that I continue to land more and better gigs. It seems that my fledgling jazz guitarist/singer career has been on a slow but consistent upward trajectory.

Taped to my computer so that I can see it every day is the phrase "I make a quiet, comfortable living playing the music I love." It used to read "I will make…," but I scratched out the word "will," because I prefer to think in the present, to act as if this is something that I'm already doing rather than constantly think of it as a future occurrence. To be more specific, this is what it will mean to make a quiet, comfortable living making the music I love:

  • Grow my music director job at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation from quarter time to half time. Currently, my church job includes leading the choir two Sundays per month, providing the music for one service per month, and scheduling another musician to play one Sunday per month when I have the day off. Once we have the funds and a larger congregation, I would love to begin a children's choir, start a regular church band, and lead other educational activities such as a "how to read music" class and a "sing through the hymnal" series.
  • Maintain a roster of 15-20 guitar students. I only teach a handful of students now, but I'm working to connect with a teaching studio to help grow my roster.
  • Regularly play corporate and private jazz gigs as a soloist, with a band, or as an accompanist. Recently, I've been fortunate enough to have joined a jazz quartet that plays regularly at The French Market on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday every other week, and I suspect the group will be landing private and corporate jobs soon. My own group, Tea for Two, is beginning to book party gigs and wedding jobs, and we're even playing for a swing dance in February. I rehearse with Lori Guy, an excellent jazz singer, and lately, we've started to land a few voice/guitar duo gigs. I feel that all three of these projects (the quartet, Tea for Two, and the duo with Lori) all have great potential for success, and as a bonus, they're all super fun to play with.

So, I'm growing in three areas overall: the church job, teaching, and performing. I am slowly making progress in each area. I would love to snap my fingers and make all this happen at once, but if that actually happened, I would be overwhelmed. I think it's actually a good thing that my success is gradual, because this gives me time to make adjustments and grow.

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