Rediscovering a Passion for Music

Rediscovering a Passion for Music

After the housing market crashed, Robert Rudolph, 53, left his formerly prosperous career as a mortgage broker to pursue his first love: choir music. (AARP)

As part of AARP’s new monthly series on triumphant mid-life transitions, “Your Life Calling,” NBC’s Jane Pauley profiles Robert Rudolph, 53, who left a mortgage-broker career and his 5,000-square-foot Atlanta home to return to his original passion — church music.

Through sit-down (and walk-and-talk) interviews, along with TV-quality b-roll that incorporates images from throughout Rudolph’s adult career, Pauley elicits the saga of Rudolph’s career rise and fall and resurrection.

Rudolph got a master’s degree in music. But, following in the footsteps of his businessman father, who valued getting a job that would pay enough to enable early retirement, Rudolph pursued a traditional corporate career. He acquired all the attendant amenities, including a Jaguar. However, when the bottom fell out of the housing market, he returned to his lifelong passion for church music, burning through all his savings and possessions as he job hunted in vain. Finally, a small church offered him a job, which led to another position as a choir director — and a new life path.

The “Your Life Calling” online series features video profiles of subjects who actively sought fresh starts in their lives and careers after they turned 50. For example, Anthony Tata, a brigadier general in the U.S. Army for 32 years, left his military career to become chief operating officer of Washington, D.C.’s public schools. (See links below.)


Length: 4:52

Story by Latisha R. Gray
Interview by Jane Pauley