Yesterday was the last choir Sunday of the season at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation. I'm looking forward to my summer break from Northwest. I'll be back once more this week for a staff meeting and to file some choir music, and I'll be leading hymns on Sunday. After that, I won't be around the church much. I'll be in from time to time for a rehearsal and some teaching, but I'll be putting aside my church duties for a couple months.
The main thing I'm looking forward to this summer is the UUMN conference in Dallas at the end of July (UUMN = Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network). Among other things, I'll be attending a workshop on developing children's music programs, and I'll participate in choir reading sessions, where I'll have my eye out for new music for Northwest's choir. My friend Sarah Dan Jones will be attending. She's a former music director at NWUUC. It'll be nice to see Sarah Dan again, and I'll look forward to meeting a few people with whom I've only corresponded.
Having to spend less time on church activities means that I'll have more time to devote to my own guitar playing. I've been taking lessons from Dave Frackenpohl, who teaches jazz guitar at Georgia State University. I anticipate more hours spent on my lesson material and on building my repertoire in general.
Now that most of my Wednesdays will be free, I'll have time once again to hike at Stone Mountain. It's a wonderful place to walk around and get some fresh air. Until choir starts up again in mid-August, I think Wednesdays will be my Stone Mountain days.
And I can't forget summer movies. As many of my friends will tell you, my taste in movies is questionable, but I love sitting in an air conditioned theater on a hot summer day with a bag of popcorn to keep me company!
That'll be my summer…nice and simple, with time spent on hiking, some extra practicing, and movies. I'm looking forward to recharging.
- 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.