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Will's 2009 Mini-Sabbatical: Goals & Overview


OVERVIEW:  After having been the director of music/organist for 25 years at 1st U (Worcester, Mass) and in the church music field for almost 45 years, I'm planning a mini-sabbatical for the month of March in Washington DC.  

Because of the short amount of time, it's turning out to be more of a customized study/workshop period rather than a relaxing creative time. (Would you expect anything different from me?!)

As a part of my time there, I'll be having coaching sessions with experts in the fields of organ improvisation, choral composition, and choral techniques. I'm also exploring various networking connections in the area, one of which is All Souls Unitarian, where I hope to sing in their choir and observe and learn.


GOALS:  I'm interested in recharging my creative spirits (as best I can with a very busy schedule), and honing skills in choral directing, composition, and improvisation. Along the way, I have some personal wishes to work on some large repertoire organ pieces, and some other personal music-related projects.


LOGISTICS:  I'll be in the DC area from the end of February thru the last Sunday in March.  (I have a substitute O/D at 1st U for those five Sundays, Brian Jones formerly of Trinity Church Boston.) 
I'll be staying with my brother in the Ballston area, and setting up my computer/music/keyboard studio there (for composition and also to keep tabs on my non-music, computer-related/design businesses).  I have several connections for coaching ("lessons") in several musical areas, such as composition, and plan to do a lot of church musician networking and general concert attending.
See blog/journal for more details.


PLANNING:  Although for many years, I've had the idea for a period of continuing education in the form of a "visiting artist"/"professional intern" to visit another (larger) church for several months and absorb as much as possible, and in return, help them with whatever projects might match skills that I have.  I've queried many colleagues and none have heard of such an arrangement having been done by anyone, although all thought it was a great idea and in fact that I should write an article about it after I do it!
See initial thoughts about this Visiting Artist concept.

The March timeframe was decided upon last fall, and the location discussions began. The possibility of All Souls DC arose, but it wasn't until January 2009 that I was able to make contact. Although there are some very good connections to be made, there just wasn't enough time to plan anything other than singing with their choirs and helping them with some projects in their music program.



(coming soon)