UUMN conference. I started the day off early in the hotel's excellent fitness room with a few other early risers. I was tired from yesterday's trip, but it was important for me to establish a healthy routine right away. After my workout, I came downstairs to see if the hotel offered free breakfast to guests. The receptionist told me that those in the executive suites received a free breakfast, and other guests could enjoy the hotel restaurant (and if the prices are anything like their dinner prices, I could probably blow $20 on scrambled eggs). So, no free breakfast. Alas. I went out to hunt and gather, and I was fortunate to stumble across a place called Southpaw that offered nothing but healthy food choices at a reasonable price. That'll be my breakfast place for the rest of the week.
Today was Professional Development Day. The UUMN conference is for all members of the UUMN, but this session was for church professionals. Since this was a gathering of musicians, we all started with a song, and we halted the day long session to sing from time to time. It was a powerful experience to sing with these people. My professional singing experience is all small group jazz. I love the intimate style of jazz singing, but it was thrilling to sing in a room full of professional musicians. I can't wait for tomorrow's conference choir rehearsal!
The session was on Adaptive Leadership. It sounds like a dry topic, but it was an interesting, enlightening session. I highlighted a couple ideas that I would like to try with my choir right away, but since the session lasted all day, it's mostly a blur. I took notes, and I'll digest the information later.
After this long session, we had a couple hours to ourselves. I used that time to practice guitar and grab some dinner.
After dinner, there was a reception with all the conference attendees. There was food at the reception, which I had to pass up because I had already eaten dinner. Rookie mistake. The next time I go, I'll know to wait and grab some grub at the reception! Although I'm comfortable in front a large group of people, I don't do very well in big social settings, so I was a wallflower. I'll be more in my element tomorrow, taking part in workshops and singing in choir rehearsals.
That was my first day. The rest of the conference is filled with choir rehearsals and workshops. I've had a chance to look over the schedule to choose from a wide variety of workshops, and I'm looking forward to learning and singing a lot!
- 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.