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.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Song about Pi

Today is Pi Day! (3/14) One of the nice things about being the music director at a Unitarian Universalist church is that you can get away with singing some goofy songs every so often. During this Sunday's service, after the children give a presentation on the number Pi, I'll be singing this song about Pi. (And after the service, children will be serving pie.)

This song is called A Song about Pi. It's written by Irving Kaplansky, who is the father of singer/songwriter Lucy Kaplansky. I was delighted to find the song on this web page, along with an explanation. I transcribed Lucy's a cappella version and then added chords. Then I got dressed up and recorded this high production video.

Part of the song is based on the Pi series. You can assign numbers to scale degrees. For example, if you're playing a C major scale, the note C is 1, D is 2, E is 3, etc. Irving Kaplansky used the first few numbers of Pi (3.145926535897) to determine the melody. It's not the easiest melody, but it sort of works. If nothing else, now I can recite the first few numbers of Pi…as long as I can sing them.

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