Tag Archive: music


“Oh, pardon me, she said” as once again a failed background check prevented a good-paying job.

A non-violent drug conviction from 15 years ago, with the  original case begun 17 years ago in February 1998. Delivery of a controlled substance in February of 1998. I was selling drugs to support my drug habit. The Pasadena Police saved my life the day the set up the buy of Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). 357 units, carying a punishment of 5-99 years in Texas Prison. Through grace, the Honorable Judge Brian Rains in court 176 granted me 10 years probation.

My idea of “getting sober” meant I would not do cocaine, heroin or ecstacy any longer. I mean everyone drinks and or smokes dope, right? Riiight. So three years, two D.W.I.’s and a divorce later I was sentenced to 10 years TDC. I got sober after a while of being locked up and went to my first meeting on my daughter’s birthday in 2001. I did work with a mentor, a closed-mouth friend in prison and turned my life around. I made my first parole. I did NOT drink in Huntsville when I was released with 8 years and a few months “on paper.”

I waited three weeks because I held on to the notion that I could have a few beers and be cool.

nope.

The first time I had two drinks it was really six. I was going to wait until March 18, 201 to smoke dope again and whatdoyouknow… I was getting stoned a few months into my parole. I then relapsed on cocaine on night. Another night I got a hold of some X. The last drug (other than alcohol) was crystal meth. I hate meth. I was looking for cocaine, but I am a drug addict and I took what was available.

I left out that I’d lost my car the last day I got high. I woke up in a blackout, borrowed a car and a keyboard for a gig and proceeded to spend the gig money post haste. I woke up in the Height with a home full of Asian people I’d never recalled meeting. They saved my life. I got a ride to the Montrose and proceeded to try and hustle drinks at Mary’s.

Yes, that Mary’s.

The following day I took my last drink around noon on Friday, December 19th, 2003.

I was already enrolled in the University of Houston. I then was accepted into the Moores School of Music in 2004. I completed my bachelor’s degree in 2008. My master’s degree was done a short two years later in 2010. I then began the Doctor of Musical Arts degree.

I became Dr. Henry Alphonsus Darragh in December 2015.

I’ve been turned down for two jobs since then that I was verbally told I was hired for. You see, those jobs are making and teaching music with children. I have never harmed a child. I have a 17 year old daughter who we got custody of in 2010. We being my wife Melissa and I.

Thank God for her, as I’d likely be under a bridge if the Creator had not put her into my life 6 1/2 years ago.

How long until one’s time is served? I began voting promptly upon completing parole in March 2011. I did not celebrate getting off parole with a joint, I’m a square. Heck, I was an approved volunteer for TDCJ for years and went mostly to the Ramsey Unit for meetings. In 2009 I was awarded the Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award, after Rudy V., a man whose legacy continues to bear fruit in the recovery scene.

 

So what must one do to be pardoned? Is it the Governor of Texas that I need to have on my side? What about President Obama, can he help me?

I did my time, I served my sentence. I want to be a full, 100% citizen.

Please Pardon me.

Kickstarter Campaign

I just launched a Kickstarter campaign to back my 2nd CD project, Too Much Monday. It is made up of originals, Standards, and a few other covers. There are lots of audio clips from the live recording we did back in November at Ovations and a fun video telling about the project. Please consider checking it out!

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I probably didn’t have to do a complete chord analysis of the theme and first variations but that’s what I’m accustomed to doing with analyzing a pieces harmony. Now for my assignment, I need to cone up with more of a Shenkerian graph and analyze the differences in the variations from the theme… which after playing this for hours yesterday I cannot get it out if my head.

Back to school

Spring 2014

It’s the third week of classes and I’m starting to get my new rhythm down. This will likely be the most intense semester I’ve had in years as far as coursework goes. I am taking Classical and Romantic Performance Practice, Doctoral Theory Seminar, Italian for non-majors II, and rehearsals for the Moores School of Music Jazz Orchestra (we have four concerts)

Although I had the typical first few weeks of anxiety, crying was at a minimum this time around. Rather than looking at the various syllabi and freaking out about all the papers and assignments due this semester, I’ve tried to break it down week-to-week, day by day, of scheduling what needs to be done. This is my last full-time semester as a student.

Although I will miss my Tuesday night steady gig with the Bryan Anthony quartet, having that night off will be great. I also made the decision not to teach private piano at Writers in the Round this Spring.

If I had a complaint, it would be that I have a lot to read this semester! If that’s the worst oft problems, life isn’t all that bad.

As far as a mental Heath check-in goes, I’ve had multiple weeks of being in the middle. I’m so very grateful not to currently be depressed. I had some signs of manic yesterday and am being sure to take care of that side of me and do the typical protocol.

So in all, life is swell. Melissa is loving working at the mayor’s office and Hailey is shining at her high school. She found out last week she’s ranked 36 out of 700 freshman! What a hard she is. All that while keeping up with band and cheerleading.

I’m impressed.

Composing again

Working on my live CD recording last month got me writing again. As my psychiatrist Dr. Lee says, “it’s an anti-depressant” for me.

I’m currently working on an arrangement of my tune “Leveled Off” for Omni Brass. (2 trumpets, 2 trombones, and vibes). The tune is actually about that space where I’m in the middle. No depression, no mania.
I’m about 2/3 through the arrangement.

I’ve also started an a Capella version of Jerome Kern’s “I’m Old Fashioned.” It has men’s voices only with me singing the lead. Pretty fun to write! I it’s good, it may be included on the Moores School of Music Jazz Orchestra concert “The American Songbook” in April.

I’d like to also write an arrangement, or intro/endings really for “You Come From Rhode Island” to be recorded for my CD, Too Much Monday

So, I’m not depressed and I hope to keep writing when I have what seems like the inevitable slump. We’ll see, maybe I won’t get depressed soon. It usually occupies 2-3 weeks of each month in average.

I push forward!

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