Music is an amazing thing. It has the ability to cross borders and cultures to be a truly universal language. I want to use that language to reach people in a personal and meaningful way. What does that mean? It means I want to impact peoples lives in a positive manner. Music is an immensely powerful force in this world and I hope to learn how to control a little bit of it so I can help people. I want to give them a release from stress. I want to remind them of happier days and solemn times. I want to draw their deepest thoughts to the surface where they can interact with them in a way that they maybe haven't in a long time. I want to leave them a little better off than before they came to see me. Be it in a performance setting or through teaching, music can do amazing things.
One of my favorite ways to engage with my community is with a solo recital. It affords me the opportunity to connect on a personal level with my audience. A current audience top-pick where I'm at is my "Walk through Dixieland". A 90-minute program of talking and playing through the early history of Dixieland. It never fails to bring people up to me afterwards to ask about my instruments or to tell me how a certain song brought back memories.
I have been fortunate enough to work with some wonderful groups that focus on community engagement. Central Florida Community Arts is a wonderful organization that I was involved with at the beginning and for several years before moving to pursue my DMA. They now have multiple instrumental groups and choirs, including kids programs and lessons. It was designed as a place for anyone who wants to participate in making music and no one is turned away.
Volusia Community Symphony is a local symphony open to anyone with an instrument and a desire to play that I was fortunate enough to conduct for several years before moving to VA to pursue my DMA. I am thrilled to be back at the helm and working with this wonderful group again! Please visit us at www.volusiacommunitysymphony.org to see what we're up to! We play both benefit concerts and ticketed events, Valentine's Day jazz concerts, and have provided music for the City of Deland tree-lighting ceremony among others.
I am always looking for ways to expand the reach of music in my community and beyond.