I have spent most of my adult life writing, recording and performing music, and producing paintings. In 2015, I got the chance to teach evening music lessons at Auldern Academy, a therapeutic boarding school in Chatham County. That evolved to include regular curriculum courses in music, and guest teaching in all the other subjects. I had no idea how enjoyable and rewarding that would be. My dog, Buster, loved going to school too, and quickly became a school mascot and unofficial therapy dog. When Auldern closed down at the beginning of 2021, we thought that was gone forever.
In spring 2022, Ann Kaiyala contacted me to install an exhibition of my original paintings in the Woods faculty lounge. While I was there, I ran into my great friend and music accomplice, Creighton Irons. It felt like I was home. Ms. Ann asked if I would consider guest teaching. I was a little non-committal, but said yes. Not long after that, an opportunity arose to fill in for Mr. Creighton for a few days. I was a little nervous about jumping back in, but IT WAS A BLAST! It was like I was getting heart nourishment that had been missing from my diet for a year. After that, I said yes to as many guest teaching gigs as I could. One day, I needed to bring Buster with me, and he thought he had gone to heaven. The reception that he received really raised his spirits and warmed my heart.
And then, at the end of the school year, Jessie Brown, my great friend and fellow denizen of the Auldern Activities building (we called it “Brooklyn”, where the artists and musicians hang,) had to take unexpected early maternity leave, and Ann asked me to finish the year for her. In the midst of that, she asked me to consider filling in for the fall of 2022 while Ms. Jessie enjoyed her leave. With my wife Lisa’s approval, I readily accepted. So here I am.
I cannot believe this chance has fallen into my lap. At this point in my life, I can think of few things more important or helpful to the world than passing what I know about art, music, math and life on to young people. Buster agrees, and is eager to continue spreading the good vibes.
To check out my artwork and music, please visit