Monday, July 7, 2008

Before I go...

It was ten o'clock the night before our 6-1/2 hour drive to our summer home and what I really needed to be doing was sleeping. Of course I also needed my bags packed and the car loaded and the dishes washed but was I tending to these things? No. I was doing what any self-respecting writer would do: knocking out a last-minute press release.

For me, one of the joys of being a writer is finding opportunities to use my skills to help other people: in this case, an awesome young tenor named Orin Strunk. This is not the kind of guy who has enough swagger to brag about the fact that he was tapped for The Juilliard School's prestigious Pre-College Division, which is the opportunity of a lifetime. He is a shy, sweet kid who adopted his overachieving ways to satisfy an itch for constant growth—but when he opens his mouth, he just happens to sound like a young Pavarotti. Unfortunately, his parents can't afford to send him.

I am helping to organize a benefit concert for Orin to help defray the cost of attending the New York City program, to which he will commute every Saturday of his senior year in order to prepare for a career in the opera. At the benefit, professional musicians and exceptionally talented Boyertown graduates will be performing in a range of musical genres, as well as Orin (and my son, baritone Jackson Williams) at 7 pm, Saturday, July 26, Boyertown Area Senior High School auditorium, 120 N. Monroe Street, Boyertown, PA 19512. Suggested donation: $20.

If you love music or want to support a talented young artist in need or simply love a good "small town boy makes good" story, please contact me and I'll gladly e-mail you a copy of the full press release. It includes a way to contribute even if you can't attend the concert, and I know I can say, on behalf of his humbled and overwhelmed family, that any amount would be so appreciated. This is not the kind of opportunity any aspiring performer can afford to turn down. And it's an opportunity for the rest of us to make something beautiful happen in the world.

Plus, then you'll know more about what I do in my "spare" time! Whether the last day of vacation or the last day of my life, I hope to be dashing off one more story before I go.

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