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 getting to know heroes 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 four years later, for a number of big and small reasons, I soon took a job with Willis, international risk manager. I worked with the marketing of property and casualty insurance to public entities. Doesn’t that sound exciting? Okay, not exactly flashing lights, Christian babes, and teary responses to worship songs. But I sort of figured out that a day job for funds, and after-hours for music, art, coffee talks, thinking, etc., well… this was how my life was coming together. It has been like this for several years. It’s a bit of a mystery, but I feel nourished and thankful in many ways.
Today my job is work in fundraising at Vanderbilt University. I have been here since 2004. The job is to continually look at the intersection between philanthropy, higher education, medical (and other) research, and ivy league culture. This career, called prospect research, is relatively new. It formed with the advent of the internet in the mid-1990s. As a profession, it has a bit of wild west feel – the rules are still being written. It’s technology, benchmarking, data mining, modeling, and more. Before, during, and after this biz, it’s building and rebuilding internal teams around leadership initiatives, and harmonizing and connecting possibilities. As of September 2013, I will have been in the field 12 years. I have given presentations at the local and national level.
I have a small book (80+ pages) of short stories, SUMMERS, published in 2009, which is available through Amazon. These are stories, mostly about young people, pushing ahead with the surprising mettle of the human spirit. Like? Simply, what else breeds stories like the romance of a long, hot summer?
I have written music in some format since I was a kid. This is ridiculous, but when I slow down, if I choose, 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 early 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). I also have hard copies in my closet if you want a deeper dive.
Groups are important to me. Until recently, I served on the board of The Contributor (from 2011-2013), one of the more curious, and successful, interfaces between the Haves and the disadvantaged that I know. I am a member and volunteer leader with the Downtown Presbyterian Church here in Nashville. I recently joined the local board of UKIRK for compelling faith-based collegiate fun. In the last year I have spent time assisting the leadership of the Wild Goose Festival and Nashville Public Television (primarily with fundraising strategy). Re: Wild Goose, I presented for the second year as a speaker in August 2013, in fact, as an entertainer, in SOLOMON, a play I wrote and first premiered in May at Bongo Java After Hours Theatre.
It’s interesting how much of life you choose, and how much chooses you. I can’t get much right, on my terms, much of the time, it seems. And maybe that is the point. But every morning is new. I am primarily tasked with bearing witness and sharing what light I have (cue strings). Anywho, if you want to email, I can be reached at geoffrey braxton little (all one word) at gmail.com. My Twitter account is @geofflittle. I am also on Facebook.
Chip Andrus and me in Dublin – August 2010