Remembering 2009

In 2009, there were a few important changes for me. One was that I was promoted to Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy Band. Eleven years into my career, this promotion to “senior enlisted” is always viewed in the Navy as significant–so much so, that the uniform actually changes to khakis.

In addition, it was this year that I connected with Chris Gekker, trumpet professor at University of Maryland, and chatted with him about how to get a college teaching job. He looked over my materials and talked about some of the things I needed to do. From that conversation, I began to consider how to make my curriculum vitae more robust and targeted towards a teaching career. I had, by this time, really committed to a 20-year career in the Navy Band (I needed about nine more years to get to this point). I thought this was fantastic–a chance to really work on my academic credentials, without distraction, for nine years. I am really grateful for this advice from Chris.

In retrospect, this was a hidden turning point in my life. Being promoted in the Navy Band and given this opportunity to grow in an academic direction was a redirection and renewal for me. A safe space to grow.


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