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.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

UUMN 2015 Conference, July 22

At my first UUMN Conference to two years ago, I caught a cold. At last year's conference, I had a persistent cough and couldn't participate in any of the singing. Third time's a charm, I hope. My voice is strong. I'm healthy (knock wood), and I'm ready to fully participate in the conference choir.

Today was mostly a travel day, with a big UUMN Conference meeting at the end.

You'd think that with all the touring I did when I was an Air Force musician, I'd have the traveling thing down. When I was an Air Force musician, however, I drove the truck, and I didn't think about how much I was packing. I had plenty of room in the back of the equipment truck to toss my gear. I definitely overpacked for my first two UUMN conferences, but not this year. With a carry-on and a Traveler guitar, I could skip the baggage check, and I took the train to the airport, which meant no driving at all. Yay!

The flight was uneventful, and I took a cab to the airport. I'm glad the cabbie knew where he was going, because I would have had some major problems navigating Boston! I picked up my conference package at the registration table and then hung out in the lobby for quite a while, because I arrived at the hotel pretty early.

I went out for seafood and got a shrimp dish. I've already gotten a lot of grief about getting shrimp instead of lobster or something more local. Hey, so I don't know my seafood! It was still mighty tasty.

I pulled out my guitar to run through some basic scales, but I had forgotten to loosen the guitar strings before the flight and had problems with the high E string. Fortunately, I packed an extra set of strings. Crisis averted.

I just came back from the big meeting. There was a reception after the meeting. There are a lot of, let's say, effusive people at a typical UUMN conference. I'm not one of them. I made my appearance, even forced myself to talk to two people I've never met, and then high tailed it out of there.

Tomorrow is when the good stuff begins. I'm looking forward to singing with the conference choir, not just for the musical experience, but to watch a master choir conductor and learn a few things. There are plenty of workshops that look interesting. I'm ready to get this thing started!

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