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February 11
Inaugural recitalist, Casavant organ, Forest Lake Presbyterian Church, Columbia, S.C.

March 9, 2018, 12:15 pm Eastern
Guest recitalist, National City Christian Church, Washington, D.C.

March 11, 2018
Guest recitalist, Waldensian Presbyterian Church, Valdese, N.C.

May 13, 2018, 5:00 pm Eastern
Guest recitalist, First Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, N.C.

« Not bad for a 19-year-old, huh! | Main | Answer me! Part 2: Responding in-kind »
Friday
Feb172012

Other careers I haven’t pursued (yet)

Divine providence? Predestination? “You always end up where you belong”? Perhaps. But there are also lucky breaks and the phenomenon of "it’s who you know." And since my gut was divinely created, then gut instinct is also divinely inspired.

Up until the fifth grade, I was going to be a fireman, probably because I like red and the word "fireman" feels good to say. By the fifth grade, I was going to be a movie star. Soon after that, music kept coming up, and the prophet in his own land did enjoy a bit of success for five more years. Then the chance came along to attend high school with other developing artists. During that time, music remained a career option, even though I knew that pianists were a dime a dozen. But I had the added advantage of playing for church, and that kept doors open. Meanwhile, the pipe organ kept beckoning as a source of mechanical fascination, artistic satisfaction, and income potential.

I "broke up" with the piano gently, moving from a piano concentration in high school, to a double major in piano and organ in college, to all-organ performance in grad school. Throughout all this, although the question of "making it" at the keyboard without another day job was always nearby, I never questioned the fact that music was going to be a part of my life each week.

After grad school, I kept training -- this time in airplane cockpits. I quickly learned that flying was just as fascinating as I thought it would be. I also discovered that flying would have been a fun career. Hmm, a fallback plan!

A few months later, I was still searching for what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had the application form filled out and the finances arranged to attend funeral directing/embalming school. The very day I was planning to mail in the application and fee, I received a call from a former professor, now a Dean, asking if I could see my way clear to fill a sabbatical vacancy for a year, teaching organ and sacred music. My answer of Yes was calm and considered, but inside, I was jumping for joy. Plans changed immediately -- no funeral directing school required now. Eight years later, I’m still pursuing the teaching career I had wanted since beginning graduate school.

"Did he really say funeral directing school?" Yes, I did. Lifelong fascination with it. And it's not too late, you know.

And rangering in Big Bend National Park just might be part of my retirement package.

I also would have made an excellent surgeon.

Or veterinarian.

Or math teacher.

Or truck driver.

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