Today, I had to stop and realize how grateful I am to be living the life I'm living. I'm not rich by any stretch of imagination, but I'm so happy that I've managed to find a way to do what I love to do.
This week, I taught guitar lessons to young and adult beginners. On the flip side, I've been practicing my butt off for my own teacher, learning a Wes Montgomery solo, learning "Out of Nowhere," working on "Maiden Voyage," and filling my head with new chord voicings. I finished a few music engraving projects, and I led a church choir rehearsal. I stopped practicing at 11 this evening, and I have a rehearsal tomorrow morning. I'm preparing solo music for a service on Sunday, and I'll be playing with a jazz quartet Friday and Saturday night, where I'll attempt to put my lesson material to practical use. Looking ahead, I'm preparing for an unusual (but fun) "campfire song leader" gig, and on Saturday, I'll be rehearsing with some church musicians, putting together music for a music service that I'll be leading a week from Sunday.
Busy? Yes! I put in some long days to make this whole freelance musician thing work, but it's what I love to do!
- Tom Godfrey
- 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.