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.

Monday, December 30, 2013

2014 Goals

In my last blog article, I outlined my goals for the next 10 years. In support of those long range goals, here are my goals for 2014. I have some other, smaller goals, but these are the main ones.

Weigh 195 pounds. I feel like my weight is finally (finally!) under control. I've been maintaining about the same weight since September. This year, I plan to make a final push and get it down to a healthy 195 pounds. My strength is improving, my resting heart rate is nice and low (in the 50s), and I feel good in general. While I am feeling quite healthy, I would like to actually look like I work out. I've been going to the gym regularly to add strength training to my cardio work. I'll continue to do that, and I'll tighten up my diet a bit.

Establish the NWUUC band and children's choir as regularly anticipated parts of Sunday services. This is in support of my goal of eventually building the job from a 15 hour per week position to a 20 hour per week position. The adult choir is a well established, cherished part of the music program. My hours increased this past year from 10 to 15 hours. I'm spending most of the additional hours on building the children's program and the church band. Those two new programs are keeping me busy, but once they are well established, I'll be ready to add more to NWUUC's music by either adding another program or by expanding the band and the children's choir.

Maintain a roster of at least 20 guitar or ukulele students. My long range goal is to have 30 students, but if I added so many students all at once, I wouldn't be able to handle the schedule and still juggle my other responsibilities. I have 13 students now, so I need to add 7 more to meet my goal. I generally add only one student each month, but I have a pretty good retention rate. I'll just keep building my roster slowly.

Add another event planner to my list of regular clients. I finally managed to get my foot in the door with a good event planner. I'm hoping that having one major event planner as a client will make me more attractive to others.

Become more comfortable with unaccompanied guitar improvisation. One of my long range goals is to improvise comfortably in the style of Joe Pass. I've been improving in this area, but I have a long way to go. I've been approaching this skill haphazardly, improvising unaccompanied on random songs. This year, I'm going to focus on a handful of songs and get really comfortable with them. Through my lessons with Dave Frackenpohl, I've learned that I can make good progress on improvisation in general if I focus intensely on one or two songs at a time.

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