This past Saturday was the first day of the rest of my life. I know that's a bold statement (and maybe a corny one), but I’ve only experienced a change this profound in my work life a handful of times. Retiring from playing Trombone was certainly one of them. And now, after 15 years in a blended position at Boston Conservatory as the Associate Director of the Music Division as well as Brass Chair and a Faculty member, I am moving over to a single position as full Professor of Music in the fall. Friday was my last full day in the office and I must admit, it felt pretty weird. Over the last month, I have been slowly moving things out of my office, until Friday when it struck me that there was almost nothing remaining.
Due to our merger with Berklee, I needed to choose between administration and teaching - you can't do both in that universe. In the end, my choice became clear: teach students and work 9 months, or administer for the Faculty and work 12 months. Not only am I following my passion by continuing with the students - but for me it's also a quality of life issue. Time is a finite commodity, and I saw my chance to get a bunch of it back.
Going forward, in addition to my teaching and conducting schedule, I hope to read and travel more, as well as work in other places. Having taught for so many years, I believe that I have something to offer as a guest clinician and conductor. I'm also planning to slow things down a bit. I've been in overdrive for many years and may initially be stumped as to how to handle so much down time. Saturday, I started with a long bike ride, a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts and dinner with a friend. It already feels better.
During my time as Associate Director, I was involved in many projects and I’m pleased to have helped the school and Music Division move forward. I'll miss not having that type of impact with my faculty peers, but I'm glad to be following my passion by directly teaching the musicians of tomorrow. I want to thank the Boston Conservatory community for allowing me to have this opportunity. It came at a time, soon after my retirement from playing, when I was searching for a new direction. It couldn't have been a better fit for me.