At ACG we often think of special moments as gifts. This holiday season, we’d like to share some of these gifts with you in a series we’re calling Beautiful Gifts.

Learn more about how to support ACG and make a year-end gift here.


Just this week, we had the privilege of witnessing a heartwarming and transformative experience as ACG Teaching Artist, Brendon Grabowski and Director of Guitar at Travis High School, Susan Ronzac presented a gifted guitar to a talented young student at Travis named Tyrique. This guitar, generously provided to us by Hungry for Music, is a symbol of encouragement, inspiration, and a bright musical future for Tyrique. 

Tyrique’s private teacher, Brendon, shared his thoughts on Tyrique’s musical journey and the impact of this gift. 

“Tyrique is an extremely focused, inquisitive and hard working person who deserves a beautiful guitar that can match his high level of playing. It has been so much fun to watch Tyrique change as a player every single week as he practices diligently and works on all of the things we changed in his previous lesson. His care for music and the guitar are inspirational, and it is my honor to call him my student (and of course Susan’s!). Bravo to Tyrique and his bright musical future – I look forward to our continued growth over the years!” – Brendon Grabowski, ACG Teaching Artist

Moments like these can be life changing and leave a lasting impression. Susan shared what this moment was like in her classroom with Tyrique, 

“One of the best parts of this morning was how much his classmates supported and cheered for him. Every one of them was really happy for him and they thought he was the most deserving among them all. That instrument will be carried with him 24/7. The smile on his face will be there for weeks! Thank you all so much for this amazing gift, that couldn’t go to a more deserving student, and also for ACG’s unwavering support for both my program and of me. I have the teaching career I dreamed about in my youth because of that support. Being able to see the sheer joy and amazement on Tyrique’s face has filled my cup! Moments like this are why I do what I do!”  – Susan Ronzac, Director of Guitar at Travis HS

Director of Community Education, Tony Mariano, reflected on the profound impact a gifted instrument can have on a young person’s life. He shared, 

“When I think of the true effect a gifted instrument can have on a young person’s life, the word that immediately comes to mind is validation. A gift of a beautiful instrument tells a young artist, “you are doing the right thing, keep creating beautiful things, stay inspired, the community believes in you.” The emotions that are on full display when a young person opens the case for their new guitar for the first time and pulls out a spectacular new instrument are profound. Joy, pride, inspiration, encouragement – these are the feelings that power ACG. I am incredibly grateful for having the opportunity to be a part of these wonderful moments, and I am incredibly grateful for the community that steps up to make these gifts and these moments possible.” – Tony Mariano, Director of Community Education

Stories such as these exemplify the transformative power of music and the importance of community support. ACG is grateful to be a part of Tyrique’s journey and to contribute to the joy and inspiration that music brings. 

As we continue our Beautiful Gifts series, we look forward to sharing more heartwarming moments that showcase the positive impact of music in our community. 

Learn more about how to support ACG and make a year-end gift here.