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 and have been music director at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation since 2011.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Half Century

Today I turned 50 years old. The big 5-0. A half century.

I don't really celebrate birthdays. If others are offended that I forget theirs, maybe they'll find it reassuring that I often don't remember that it's my own birthday until half the day has passed. Thanks to Facebook, I'm now reminded of each birthday as soon as I fire up the computer.

If you had asked my 20 year old self what my 50 year old self would be up to, he would have predicted that:

  • I would be firmly established as a band director in a major high school or in a college.
  • Along with that high profile high school or college band directing job would be a family and a nice house. I'm not big into white picket fences, but I love porches. That house would have a big wraparound porch.
  • I would be playing trombone in a local group, either a jazz band, concert band, or chamber ensemble like a brass quintet.
Well, 20 year old self, the joke's on you. None of that happened. Instead, I am a freelance musician doing the following:
  • Holding the part time Director of Music position at Northwest UU Congregation.
  • Performing as a freelance jazz guitarist and singer.
  • Teaching guitar, ukulele, and piano lessons.
  • Working as a freelance music engraver.
How did I end up here? Who cares? I love what I do. I don't have that one steady job or a nuclear family, but in spite of some nasty twists and turns, I've managed to create a life filled with music. I'm unable to play the trombone anymore, but I'm having a blast with jazz guitar, which is an endless puzzle to be solved. I love all my students, and in my NWUUC music director job, I'm surrounded by caring people and a supportive staff.

So here's to 50 more years! As for today, I'm going to celebrate by going about my regular day with a lighter heart.

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