At this time tomorrow, I'll be on a plane, flying to San Diego for the annual UUMN Conference. UUMN is the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network.
This will be my second UUMN Conference. Last year's experience was wonderful. I learned a lot from the various workshops, discovered new music in the choral reading sessions, and even got my feet wet as a participant when I was asked to play guitar in a contemporary music workshop. The nicest thing about the whole week, though, was being around a lot of other people who do what I do. When you're a church music director, you are usually the only professional musician where you work. I enjoyed sharing notes with other music directors.
I caught a cold at the end of last year's workshop, partly because I was around a lot of people all week, but mostly because I kept myself really busy, attending every session and trying to get as much out of the conference as possible. This year, I plan on pacing myself a little better. That's what I'm telling myself, at least. I'm playing in a conference contemporary band, playing guitar for a few songs in a reading session, and was asked to play guitar with another group for the Thursday morning service. Aside from that, I'm pacing myself…really.
I'm actually flying out a couple days early, just to enjoy San Diego for a little bit. I'm especially looking forward to Tuesday. My biggest music engraving client, the Neil A. Kjos Music Company, is located in San Diego, not far from my hotel. The editor with whom I've worked the longest will be picking me up for a tour of Kjos and lunch. That'll be nice. I've been a freelance music engraver for over 15 years, but I rarely get a chance to meet my clients face to face.
Tomorrow's flight will be early. I leave Atlanta at 8:15, but because of the time difference, I arrive in San Diego at 9:30, giving me the day to get my bearings and get out a little bit. San Diego, here I come!
- 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.