Well. I find myself in an interesting position. I have been asked to serve as Treasurer/Registrar for the Durham-Chapel Hill chapter of the American Guild of Organists. I never thought I'd find myself in such a position. But then again ... in retrospect, my career has taken a turn I never would have envisioned a few years ago.
I was in training to be an academic scientist. When I did a series of teaching workshops at UNC last month, I came to the conscious realisation that I did almost everything that would have been expected of an academic research scientist. The only thing I didn't do was go on to the next step and apply for a K01 or R01 for myself. I know those are awfully competitive, and with funding the way it's been for the past few years, one would have had to resubmit their grants a few times before they would be funded. I'm just not sure I wanted that kind of life for myself.
And now, in addition to an adjunct faculty position I've secured for myself, I serve as organist for two congregations in Durham. And, I am enjoying myself doing that. When I first started taking organ lessons August 2002, I envisioned this as a hobby, something that I enjoy doing. Music became a wonderful outlet for me. I never envisioned it becoming more than just an avocation.
I'm still enjoying it, and I suppose being part of the e-board of an organisation designed for organists to network emphasizes in my mind the fact that this has become more of a serious career for me. Sure, I'm working with a couple of small congregations, but then for someone at my level, it's a good fit. I may have the opportunity to audit a beginning conducting class next semester at UNC, which would be good for me - I'll have the opportunity to learn how to be a good choral conductor.
This doesn't mean I'll leave science forever though. My adjunct position teaching chemistry helps in that respect. So too does my continuing involvement with the local chapter of the American Chemical Society. You will still see me at the ACS' booth at the North Carolina State Fair in October, as well as other ACS events as my schedule permits.
The first e-board meeting of the Durham-Chapel Hill chapter of the AGO will take place tomorrow evening. There are new faces in the chapter and the board, and we hope this will be a good year for the chapter and the organists it serves.