If you haven’t been already, check out Our Changing Lives Storyboard!  In the past week alone we’ve heard from a student, a parent, and a teacher – and more stories, your stories, are coming all the time!

I thought I’d add a few of my own.  Here are a few special moments I’ve experienced – just in the past 8 days!

Last night I was so moved by the Community Guitarists winter performance.  There were 15 players, in two groups, and they played beautifully.  Afterward two members chatted with me at the reception and asked if, in the spring, the ensemble could perform more.  Like, a lot more.  They’re thinking an average of once a month!

One evening in the middle of last week I found myself in a courtroom at the Juvenile Justice System with 120 other people listening to a group of young men in our Gardner Betts guitar class perform a simply enthralling set of 5 pieces.  When they finished, the audience erupted, standing immediately, and the look on the young men’s faces as they left the performance is one I’ll never forget.

Last Monday I was asked to speak and perform at the Pan-American Round Table Luncheon with around 90 guests.  It was a holiday program and I decided to play and sing Ave Maria.  A woman grabbed my arm afterward with tears in her eyes and asked if it was OK that she took a video of my performance.  Her 80-year old brother was very ill in a hospital Florida, she explained, he used to play classical guitar all the time, and she knew if she sent him the video it would bring him great joy.

Just two nights before that we were sitting in a home built in the 1830’s listening to exceptional guitarist and composer Joe Williams perform Scarlatti and Bach, and then introduce two brand-new compositions by telling us two haunting New Mexico folk tales he based them on.

This time at the end of the year is one of reflection and also renewal.  Hearing these stories, and thinking of my own experiences over the years, has been a terrific way to connect with why we do what we do here at ACGS.  I’m also getting very excited about the future.  No big announcements just yet, but we’ve already taken big steps toward booking next year’s events, and imagining our new horizons.  Stay tuned!