New Opportunities Ahead
Updated: Apr 11, 2020
A year ago, the possibility of auditioning for or taking a job in a military band was not even a consideration.
Well, things change.
On January 13, I auditioned and won a position in the United States Army Band "Pershing's Own" in Washington, D.C. I will be performing as part of the Ceremonial Band (and I expect to occasionally perform with other ensembles within the organization, too). This is an incredible opportunity for me to grow professionally and to serve my country, and it provides new and exciting opportunities for my wife and children, too. We will relocate to the D.C. area toward the end of the summer (after I complete Basic Combat Training), and I will begin my new job with the band in August. (At least that's the plan for now...the timeline may change a little based on current circumstances in the world.)
No doubt, this is an odd way to wrap up my time at Southeastern University (basically no closure, no final concert, etc.). Regardless, I have been extremely fortunate to work at SEU for seven years, having seen the percussion program go from essentially non-existent to a fully-functional, vibrant, and growing studio with 10-12 majors each year. The colleagues I've worked with are top-notch musicians and even better people. I genuinely like each of them, and it's a privilege to serve our students together. I have enjoyed immense support from my department chairs and college dean, which I know is not always the case in university positions. They have trusted me to do what I think is best for my area and encouraged me every step of the way. I will always be grateful for the opportunities I have been given here at Southeastern.
I will most definitely miss my colleagues and friends at SEU, but I am excited to get to work with new colleagues at the U.S. Army Band! Some are drum corps or college friends whom I have known for more than a decade. Others are new friends whom I just met at the audition. Some have been in the band nearly twenty years. Others will be joining with me this year. From all of my new colleagues, I expect to learn a great deal about music.
This has been a long journey (well, at least it's felt that way!), with many emotional ups and downs. And as I am an introvert who spends a lot of time lost in my own mind, these several months have included TONS of thinking, weighing options, processing, evaluating my life, career, family, etc. etc. etc. But through all of that, God has used close friends and family, and my wife, most of all, to encourage me and guide me. He presented a door (thanks, Tim Perry, for telling me about the openings!), and I didn't know whether it was going to be open or closed when I got to it, but I steadily and determinedly moved toward that door until it became clear God intended me to walk through it into a new chapter of my life and career. So walk through it I will.