2012. A Reflection and Goals for 2013.

2012. A Reflection and Goals for 2013.

To say 2012 was a busy year would be an understatement. I celebrated a milestone birthday, saw the birth of Zachary Andrew (our second son) and bid farewell to my friend and mentor Michael Carney. As I wrote on my FaceBook wall, “It is very hard to say goodbye to someone who has meant so much to me and my family over the past 22 years. I was grateful I had the opportunity to study, teach, work and be around someone like Dr. Michael Carney for so many years. Being in the room today and spending time with former students and singing for Michael will be something I will never forget! I will never forget you Michael. May your final journey be peaceful and painless. Thank you Michael! I love you!” I think about Michael often and I am blessed to be able to continue in the role of Director of Percussion Studies at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSU, Long Beach.

Musically, this was also a big year for me. In January, I signed with Zildjian cymbals and I have been enjoying playing my Zildjian cymbals, especially my two new sets of piatti. I am happy and fortunate to be working with Zildjian, Yamaha, Innovative Percussion and Evans Drumheads. In February, I traveled to Austin, Texas to work with the UT Steel Drum Band (Thanks Tom Burritt and David Saad) and the IronWorks Percussion Duo were featured guest artists on the Southern Utah University Day of Percussion in April (Thanks Lynn Vartan). In March, I began playing a steady steel drum gig at the Newport Coast Marriott. With the passing of Michael Carney, I was appointed Director of Percussion Studies at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSU, Long Beach. As a faculty member since 1998 (and as a student since 1990), it has been an honor taking over the program Michael built. It has been a great first semester and I am looking forward to the future. Some of the highlights included the Michael Carney Benefit on September 16 (Michael’s 60th Birthday), Conducting Carmina Burina on the Bob Cole Grand Opening Celebration, premiering Carolyn Bremer’s The Other Shore, and directing the Caribbean Holiday Celebration. For a full update of all of my activities and performances, please check out my Calendar.

Personally, Cynthia and I purchased our first house. All of the years saving finally paid off and we are proud home owners. We also welcomed a new addition into our family. At 10:39pm, on October 17,
Zachary Andrew was born. Drew turned two in November and is enjoying all fo the Thomas and Friends train toys Santa brought him for Xmas. He also received his first tricycle from Grandma and Grandpa on his 2nd birthday. We are thankful for two happy and healthy boys.

It is not my intent to write this post to brag or self-congratulate myself for my accomplishments of the year. My purpose in writing this post is to document my year and have a place that I revisit one day. I also wanted to write down my goals in a public place. I am always telling my students to write down their goals and I feel that being transparent is important and will allow my friends, family, students and colleagues to keep me honest throughout the year. I will revisit these goals throughout the year and write some posts on their progress. So here goes:

Goals and Wishes for the New Year, 2013

1) Keep My Email Inbox In Control

  • I want to maintain inbox zero. I recently read an article about being productive and I want to try and institute the OHIO method (Only Handle It Once). Too often I use my inbox as my to do folder and I don’t have time for that anymore.

2) Keep My Computer Desktop Clean

  • This is going to be tough. I use my desktop as the “catch all” for things I receive or things I need to do. My desktop was so full that it started putting files on top of other files and I couldn’t find anything. I need to put a stop to that.

3) Percussion Method Book for CSULB Percussion Program

  • This has been on my list before and I want to put a dent in this project. I want to work on it at least once a week during the semester so I have a head start before the summer. I would like to deliver the first edition to my freshman in the Fall.

4) Compose More

  • This is an area I really want to try and do more over the year. I have been commissioned to write a new piece for solo triangle (really) and I also want to enter the PAS Steel Drum Ensemble competition. Other than that, I want to learn more about how to compose. I hope to start taking lessons this year.

5) Continue to Work on Being a Good Husband and Father

  • As a freelance musician and full time faculty member, sometime my family gets neglected. I want to make it a point to spend more quality time with my family. My wife and two boys are the most important people in my life and I want them to know that.

6) Update my website more often.

  • Last year, I didn’t update my blog as much as I would have liked to. I am going to go back and fill in the gaps over the coming weeks. Over the summer, I created a folder on my desktop called “To Add to Website” and it is full of photos and materials from the past year. This year, I will update my blog regularly and report on the events, places and people I interact with on a daily basis. I am also going to do a weekly post about what I have read on the Internet that interests me called The Weekly Review. (In an unrelated note, be sure to check out TimeHop. The site sends you a daily e-mail reminder of what you did a year ago based on what you posted on FaceBook, Twitter, or Instragram).


The photo in this post is used under the Creative Commons License: Attribution – NonCommercial – No Derivs 2.0 by Angie Torres on Flickr.com.

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