The Year So Far…

So in my post at the beginning of the year, I reflected on the challenges of most of 2012 and my desire to have a much better 2013. Despite some recent bumps in the road, this year has gone well and looking at the Fall ahead, things are really set to finish out nicely. I feel like this coming November will be a key month. I will have been back in my house for a year and other things will be in place that should allow me to feel more in control and fully recovered from my most challenging life segment to-date. Maybe I should just call it my “Lost and Dark” year, although it’ll be more like 14 months.

A Superhero at McDonogh School
Working on A Superhero at McDonogh School in April was a wonderfully awesome experience. Jon Waller‘s music was fantastic, the kids were great, and the musicians in the pit were amazing. I’m not sure when, or if, I’ll have a chance again to work with such an incredible and dedicated group of people. Having the opportunity to conduct a 19-piece pit orchestra including 10 professionals is a rare opportunity.

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company Summer Shows
Right on the heels of A Superhero came the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company summer shows of Antony & Cleopatra and Taming of the Shrew. I was honored to have original songs performed in each production based on some of Shakespeare’s adapted text. This now means that I have 4 songs based on Shakespeare and it’s a project I intend to continue for CSC productions. The next Shakespeare coming up is Merry Wives of Windsor, so I need to start scoping out the text for ideas of what to use for a song. I also provided some direction and guidance for the live songs in the shows and sound design for Antony & Cleopatra. Here’s a fun (but apologetically SHAKY) video I recorded at the closing performance:

Back to School!!
I’m very excited to begin my graduate study on September 4th. I will be working on my Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management at Notre Dame of Maryland University. My first two classes are NPM-501: Strategic Planning in the Nonprofit Sector; and NPM-510: Management and Leadership in Nonprofits. I hope to finish in 2 years, and halfway through the program I will earn a postgraduate certificate. In the spirit of the overall graduate school experience, I intend to find out about their Concert Choir and theater group to see if I might be able to participate in some capacity. It would be nice to write or arrange something for the choir, or act or help out with a production. Finding the time will be the key challenge. I have already made contact with one person in the music department there and it was a good start to finding out more.

Home Life
I have some housemates that moved in to Invercauld recently. They are a young couple and friends/colleagues of mine from the theater world. We all share a pretty comparable fun and laid-back kind of vibe/attitude, they needed a new home, and I needed the financial advantage of sharing living expenses. There are always the usual concerns of living with friends, and I find myself a little out of my element in the mature, responsible, landlord role. But having that awareness and understanding of the concern is also key in preventing any conflict or issues, and the confidence is there from both sides. Truly the beginning of a noteworthy chapter of life.

Music Projects
I started trying to work on a YouTube video project. Unfortunately the scale was a little too big for me to accomplish with the resources at my disposal. I need a more robust video editing capability. I will still post something before the end of the year, but I will likely scale it down. I’m slowly starting to play more again after a bit of a down time these past couple months. Right now, I’m plucking away at some Scott Joplin rags. Some I’ve worked on before, and a couple new ones. If there’s any kind of full CD of pieces I think I would get into, it would be this. Perhaps an album just called, “Scott plays Scott.” Seems to have a nice ring to it.

Employment and Income
So far the job at Howard Community College has been relatively stable. I am also still teaching on the side. I have another job opportunity I hope to hear more about by the end of the week. I still have the goal of having just ONE full-time job with benefits, but until then I just have to continue to putter away at making a living the various ways I can.

Here’s to life being better, a productive and wonderful closing third-of-the-year to 2013, and an exciting and noteworthy 2014 ahead!

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