Today I look forward to a milestone that is important to me as a teacher: the winter recital for my private lesson students. It is amazing how the year flies by, and since we only have one or two recitals a year, I always reflect at this time on how quickly time marches on. (I also tend to view a "year" in terms of a school year, as many teachers do.) I am very proud of my students, who have achieved so much and who continue to amaze me. In just a couple of hours, 17 of my students will play piano, violin, or sing for their friends and families. Today I am not on the stage, they are. Today I hope to focus on how wonderful it is that they are giving their gift of music to other people by performing, but also talk about other ways in which your talents can affect and help people.
Which brings me to the next topic, that of the Officer Down Fundraiser concert which we are in the process of planning. Although the details are not yet 100% certain, (hence my reluctance to mention time, place, date, or hosts) it WILL happen within the next month or so. A friend of mine, who has been interested in aspects of sociology, criminal justice, safety, and law, for most of his life, and who happens to also be a music fan, had the idea of bringing the community together to raise money for the families of officers, and the officers themselves, who were wounded in the recent, tragic, rash of violence in Columbia, especially Molly Bowden, whose future health remains uncertain. I know I have been deeply alarmed and affected by these events close to home, and worldwide events, such as the Tsunami, that have all of us perhaps reflecting on the frailty of life. In recognizing that any one of us could be gone in an instant, we not only must appreciate life and those around us more fully, but give of what we can to provide comfort for those going through a difficult time.
Of course I am biased, but I believe music can bring people together and stir emotion unlike almost anything else. I am honored to have the opportunity to help bring people together to help, if we can. I DO know that tickets will be $10, ALL money will go to the Officer Down Fund, (the band and I receive no money for our performance) and a portion of CD sales will also be contributed to the fund. Additional donations are of course welcome. Local media is being very supportive, and this event will be getting great radio, newspaper, and TV coverage. Molly's injuries were so severe and will require such long-term care that her health insurance will not be able to cover all the hospital costs, and she may not be able to return to work in the future. I am hoping we can raise $10,000, which will still only scratch the surface for her and her family, but will hopefully provide them with a little comfort. Molly, and every officer, was and is serving our community in the capacity of a protector, so we should try to give back whenever possible, and recognize the risks they take when serving us.
I will provide more details on the concert as soon as I get final confirmation. Again, the concert WILL be in a venue in Columbia, tickets will be available for pre-sale at $10, it will be on a Saturday evening, and an early show (7:30pm) so that families with children can attend. All ticket proceeds, additional donations, and a portion of CD sales for that evening will go to the Officer Down fund.
Thanks for your support of music, and each other.