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It REALLY Is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Greetings! Whew what a few weeks it’s been. Holiday-ing during a pandemic is not quite as less-busy as I might have thought when all of this began in the spring. Knowing that vaccines are coming, and we all ought to be able to gather again in the summer (PS: wear your masks) does make it all feel a bit more doable. If nothing else, going into all the Christmas music knowing that we shouldn’t have to do it like this again next year is encouraging!

So. In the past three weeks, I’ve helped film, edit, and/or perform two streaming concerts for North Carolina Master Chorale, one for Hayes Barton UMC, two for Sacred Sounds, an elementary pageant plus weekly worship still at Hayes Barton. There’s still one Sacred Sounds episode, two Advent services, two preschool pageants, and Christmas Eve services to go.

And you know what?

I love it. I love being busy, and I love concerts.

I may be one of the few musicians who still loves to hear and play Messiah and traditional Christmas carols all year round, but especially in November and December. It’s my favorite time of year professionally, personally, theologically, culinarily, and sartorially.

So. I have a request.

As you might know, musicians work hard to survive. Being a musician rarely pays well. I couldn’t possibly pay my bills with either of my salaries at the church or chorale separately. Together, it’s fine, but there’s not really a lot extra. [yes, I realize I could drive a cheaper car, thank you Lisa / Michelle / Katherine, your input is noted].

So. While I’m really excited about this Sacred Sounds project, writing more music, getting some stuff on Apple Music and Spotify, expanding into some popular/broadway/movie score stuff, I can’t afford to make all the goals into reality with just my AmEx. Believe me. They’ve already told me. [don’t you just love those aggressive YOUR BALANCE IS APPROACHING YOUR LIMIT emails?]

Let’s be real. A lot of people with a lot of money are doing very well in 2020. Everyone else, not so much. This has been a tough year financially. I took a pay cut, and the normal wedding and holiday gig money has certainly dried up, and I’m still doing way better than a lot of people because I can pay my bills each month. Not everyone can. Even if things are ok, there are important, deep causes that need funding this year – far more important than me making music.

Still. The time has come to ask. My goal is to record and air 25 episodes in 2021: bi-weekly, with one week off in the summer. Here’s the breakdown: each of these episodes is going to cost around $2,000. Some will be less expensive, some more, depending on the content and complexity. That includes purchasing music, my time to learn and record the music, paying for help editing each episode, buying better recording equipment and editing software, and hopefully being able to hire guest musicians next year and maybe record some in Charlotte, Nashville, Greensboro, and other places I know I can stay [for free] and have access to instruments.

So. Yeah. That comes to ... $50,000. Now, it’s not like I can’t continue doing it all myself and keep things small for now, but that’s not the vision. You know what we’re all going to need for 2021? VISION.

Seriously though, what we’ve experienced in the past nine months – the move to streaming and digital music – it’s not going away. People are engaging from all over the world with artists and ensembles they’d never be able to hear live. Artists and groups who’ve expanded their online and virtual presences will be wise to keep them going into the future. It, literally, is the future. I want to be part of that.


If you’ve watched these episodes, the snippets and clips I’ve posted,

If you’d like to see more,

If you’ve ever told me, “You should record a CD,”

If you’d like to hear my music on iTunes and Spotify,

If you find yourself in a place where making a gift is feasible,

Please consider supporting this effort. There are three ways to support.

Patreon is a membership platform that provides tools for artists and creatives to run a subscription service. You can sign up and choose to give any amount, monthly, for as long as you want until you decide to cancel. [please note: it is a subscription service, so it’s meant for recurring contributions]

PayPal and Venmo are common online payment systems used by artist and businesspersons all over the world. If you’d like to make a one-time contribution, these are both great options.

If, by chance, you’d like to contribute some other way, please reach out to me.

I really, really appreciate the verbal, written, financial, emotional, and mental support of everyone in my life, and I’m thankful for you.

Happy Holidays!

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