Dad’s (Al Bruno) promo photo ~ Chicago, circa 1945 (?)
Shortly after my jazzman Dad passed away last year, I received a letter in the snail mail announcing a contribution had been made to the Bringing Music to Life’s instrument repair fund in his memory by one of my cousins* and her husband. What a perfect way to honor my Dad!
Founded in 2010, this non-profit organization not only provides musical instruments to students in underfunded schools throughout Colorado, but refurbishes each donated instrument before being placed in their eager hands.
“If you take a musical instrument that is in bad need of repair or even partial need of repair and put that into the hands of a 4th or 5th or 6th grader, they’re going to be very defeated when they try to play that instrument. They’re going to think it’s them – they’re not gonna know it’s the instrument.” (Dan Parker, pres. Colorado Institute of Musical Instrument Technology)
While instrument repair is an on-going service, the instrument gathering phase of this organization blitzes two weeks in March annually. This year, it runs from March 13th to March 25th. If you live in Colorado and have an instrument to donate, please consider taking it to one of the drop off locations listed here.
Others of you interested in this non-profit’s mission can go to their site and decide if you’d like to make a donation to their year-round instrument repair fund**. Or, closer to home, present this non-profit as a template for your own local community to use in aiding the enabling of the arts in the public schools.
2017′s promo video presents a special slice of the impact a single instrument donation made on a single student. However, last year’s promo video tells a more complete story of the Bringing Music to Life’s mission – I present it here for your own consideration.
* thank you Joannie!
** if you wish, feel free to donate in memory of Al Bruno.
Long story short, several years ago I fell in love with a National Res Guitar at McCabes Guitar Shop in Santa Monica. At the time, I didn’t follow my gut (even though hubby encouraged me to just ‘get it’) but rather my more practical side. Part of that practical side being financial, but mostly wondering how in heck I could keep from compromising my cg-nails in playing it (even if I could always just use a pick, but still…) and the whole heaviness of the instrument and well, I ended up talking myself out of taking the plunge and entering into its wonder-world.
Zoom to Thanksgiving 2016. Hubby and I drove up to Lansing, MI for the Family Holiday at middle daughter and son-in-law’s new home. The day after our festive feasting, son-in-law and I took an adventure trip to Elderly Instruments just a few minutes’ drive into town. I like to think it was a great excuse for this mother-in-law and son-in-law to further bond as fellow musicians. We browsed the instruments, soaking in the eye and ear candy. Nothing much tempted me to pick up and caress until my gaze happened upon this gorgeous tenor resonator.
Fascinated by the four strings on a res body, I lifted it off its display stand. Son-in-law was playing a nearby steel body 6-stringer res but I was not impressed with its sound…curious as to tonal differences between the two instruments I sat next to him on the bench and began a simple strum on the tenor res. And yes, she spoke to me. That long ago urging deep inside tugged, and this time I followed my gut! Hubby encouraged me to take the plunge in honor of my folks.
I view this newest addition to my musical toolbox as a special gift given from my folks posthumously.
Thank-you readers, from newest to first-to-follow, for marking this milestone with me. This year, I’m commemorating my third year blogiversary by offering the following quotes and links to past posts for you to peruse. Enjoy!
Quotes: 3 Very Different Men, All on the Same Page
my original hand-scored “Goats in the Garden at Midnight by the Light of the Full Moon”
I am in the world only for the purpose of composing. Franz Schubert
Dad (Al Bruno) ~circa 1945 (?)
Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out your horn. Charlie Parker
Cesar Chavez in Community Garden-photo by Cathy Murphy
When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of [wo]men we are.Cesar Chavez
As hubby and I drove the last few yards towards our driveway coming home from an outing the other day, the soundless swoosh of a hawk made its dramatic landing by the side of the road. Just as suddenly, it took flight to who-knows-where.
In those few moments, the raw heft of this bird of prey left a palpable presence. Bringing to mind my friend Anna’s novel, The Hawk.
I’ve been reading it on Smashwords, where she has self-published many of her other novels. I respect the fact that as a creative (he)artist, she does the work necessary to get her work out there for others to enjoy.
She believes her novels are examples of faith in action. As she says: “And this is where faith comes into the process; it’s trusting your instincts as a creative force to just let the words, or whatever artistic tools you choose, go where they will.”
“A SUITCASE FULL OF CHOCOLATE” is the film about the life of SOFIA COSMA (1914-2011), a devoted mother, a modest woman of great personal character, a great pianist, and the ultimate survivor. Born at the outbreak of World War I, this remarkable musician began a brilliant career as a prize winner in the Viennese International Piano Competition of 1933. Hitler’s invasion of Austria, and Sofia’s subsequent long imprisonment in a Soviet Labor camp, forced her to abandon her music for many years. This is the remarkable story of her ultimate triumph as a mother, a concert artist in the Communist world, then an American citizen with a new life, and a free woman, who returned to Russia to solo with the Moscow Philharmonic. The life of Sofia Cosma is a lesson about Freedom, that precious commodity which most of us take for granted. It is also a lesson about artistry, not fame. Through unbelievable adversity, this musician made music at the highest level, cared for her family, kept her sense of humor, and remained genuinely modest throughout her life.” Lincoln Mayorga
I don’t remember how I came across this intriguingly titled video trailer, but if not for the name, I know I’d have missed it altogether. I’m glad the chocolate drew me in…Once drawn in, I still haven’t a clue as to what the chocolate connection actually is, but, that’s part of the continuity of the draw for when the video becomes more widely available to a larger audience. I suspect it has something to do with Sofia’s eventual escape from the Communist world, but that is of course simply my own speculation.
“In an age when we make heroes out of musicians who struggle with drugs, it is rare to encounter one whose life is profoundly inspiring.” ~ Lincoln Mayorga