I live in Nashville, Tennessee, and am originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia. After graduating from Kempsville High School in 1993, I came later that summer to begin college at Belmont University in the Music City, studying in Belmont’s Music Business program. In this time, I had a strong internship experience working with and in Contemporary Christian Music, namely Charlie Peacock, who was beginning re:think records at the time. His first artist was Sarah Masen.
When I graduated in 1997, for a number of reasons big and small, I took a job with Willis, international risk manager and famed participant of nothing to do whatsoever with the entertainment industry. I worked with the marketing of property and casualty insurance to public entities. Not exactly flashing lights, Christian babes, and teary worship songs. But I sort of figured a day job for funds, and the after-hours for music, art, coffee talks, thinking, etc. – well, this could work. As the years went by – it is very much how my life came together and has now been like this for a very long time. I’d rather do all high-risk arty business. But I now do a lot of everything. It is a mystery. And I feel nourished and thankful in many ways.
Today I work in fundraising strategy and reporting at Vanderbilt University where I have been employed since 2004. The job is to continually look at the intersection between philanthropy, higher education, medical (and other) research, and ivy league culture. The area is called prospect research and it is a for-real career. This aspect of fundraising maintains a bit of wild west feel – the rules are still being written. It’s technology, benchmarking, data mining, modeling, and more stuff we are all still figuring out. I have been doing this almost 14 years, and have presented talks and ideas at the national level. I help lead a team of about 8 at Vanderbilt.
I have a small book of short stories, SUMMERS, published in 2009, available through Amazon. Approaching juvenile fiction in genre, these are tales about young people. These are some combination of homage to youth, the green, humid, insect-y lush of the South, and the way the season’s heat bakes brains to emotional delirium.
I have written music in some format since I was a kid. I hear original melodies in my head. I always have. For years, I felt I could never properly get them out. But in 2010, with the help of a good engineer and pro studio, things came together. Three-song EP, BE NO END, is what I recorded. I call the sound ‘space rock.’ It wouldn’t be too far from earlier career Smashing Pumpkins in style. The album or individual files can be purchased through iTunes, Amazon, or CD Baby (you’ll want to please look up my full name if interested). Like any good Nashvillian, I also have CD hard copies in my spare closet, if you might want a copy this way.
Groups are important to me. Until recently, I served on the board of The Contributor. I am a member of the Downtown Presbyterian Church. I serve on the board of UKIRK. In recent years I have spent time assisting the leadership of the Wild Goose Festival and Nashville Public Television (primarily with fundraising biz). Re: Wild Goose, I have presented several times there, including as an actor performing one-man plays. I lead Beer & Hymns in Nashville, one of the largest gatherings of its kind in the country; we’ve played Mercy Lounge three times in the last year. I am co-host of Tenx9 Nashville, a local storytelling group which meets monthly at Douglas Corner. I took the stage recently at Zanies (May 2015) for a very short standup set, which was a thrill. I am (slowly) working towards a 1/2 hour set by year-end. I have a podcast, The Attentionist; the format is a personal journal; it has been great fun to interview a few guests so far.
Find me on Facebook and/or follow me on Twitter @geofflittle. (also much love should you follow @theattentionist and/or @beerhymnsnash)
Walter Brueggemann: The world for which you have been so carefully prepared is being taken away from you by the grace of God.
Chip Andrus and me in Dublin a few years back