Wish Upon a Star

I just got off the phone with John in West Virginia. He received an Olds Ambassador Cornet from me to finish what I started. Over the last year, I acquired this instrument and found replacement slides and valves, restored it to the best of my ability and forwarded it to him for solder repair and refinishing. His work is exemplary. He called to inform me that it was received, gave me his assessment and told me when he would start completion of the work I initiated. 

We’ve never met, but we share a passion. We restore old instruments and gift them to deserving students who otherwise would be unable to acquire their own. Doing this won’t save the world, solve the climate crisis or change the course of history. Unless you are the student who receives the instrument. His or her view of the world may change. His or her future may change. Maybe, just maybe, in the future, they will “pay it forward”. Maybe not.

The student will never know their benefactor. It’s better that way. No awkwardness. No forced thankfulness. Just enjoyment. That’s what is important.

Why did I choose this particular avenue of giving? Almost sixty years ago I swore an oath to advance the cause of music in America. Pledging yourself to a cause doesn’t end. The way you fulfill your pledge may. Evolution of, aging of, and refinement of ideals can bring immense satisfaction. 

Find what brings you satisfaction in helping others. It doesn’t have to be anything big, just meaningful to the recipient. Why? The biggest beneficiary will be you.

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Comments on "Wish Upon a Star"

Comments 0-5 of 1

Lisa Witherite-Rieg - Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Music, and the arts, truly are the basis of culture. Anything we can do to promote and support art and music education - from a young age - will certainly benefit our society.

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