I recently rolled off being president of the Historic Brass Society. This was a wonderful, demanding position that I essentially did for three years. Two years officially as president and one year before that as vice president. This was also a time when I was finalizing my portfolio for promotion and tenure as an applied trumpet teacher at Colorado State University. Now that I am no longer president of the HBS and no longer extremely busy with promotion materials, I find myself at an inflection point. I am now looking for new projects that will help define my work for the next five to ten years. I am hoping to focus on projects that are more closely aligned with my core interests than before. Projects that are authentic, creative, and that will be something to hand over to the next generation of trumpeters and musicians.

At this same time in my career, I find myself eligible for my first-ever sabbatical leave. Taking paid time off work to do professional development seems like an embarrassment of riches, but I am really looking forward to being embarrassed! I want to shape this leave as close as possible to the ways I want to grow.

As a trumpet performer who enjoys recording, performing recitals, collaborating in chamber groups, playing dusty old instruments, my sabbatical leave should probably include those goals. I also want to start a method book that will distill and capstone my teaching ideas that I have developed over the last three decades. I have also been waiting for an opportunity to return to composing original music like I was doing ten to fifteen years ago. Then there is the personal pleasure I get from being in other countries, learning a different language (my hobby for the past eight years has been learning new languages on Duolingo).

The question I ask myself is if I can formulate a plan that includes all of these goals? And if not, which ones are my most essential, authentic goals.


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