Gratitude and giving. We hear those words a lot this time of year, but they are important and meaningful words any time of year. If we were to incorporate gratitude and giving into our lives on a daily basis, I think we’d all be surprised how much better we feel.
I recently read a quote by a gentleman on facebook who had just lost his teenage daughter. It read: God has a new Angel and included a photo of his deceased daughter. And my problems are what again?? It put me in a state of gratitude that lasted several days. I’m grateful to that gentleman for sharing his pain in order to help the rest of us realize how much we have. I try everyday to spend 5 or 10 minutes saying out loud all the things I’m grateful for. It’s amazing how easy it is to fill up those minutes!
The Central New York Jazz Orchestra is an organization I am very grateful for. I had the pleasure of performing a Rob McConnell tribute concert with them on Nov. 18th in Syracuse, NY. The band is made up of some of the finest musicians in upstate New York, an area with a wonderful tradition of extraordinary musicianship. It was a terrific concert, with exceptional playing from all the band members, wonderful arrangements written by the great Rob McConnell and a large, enthusiastic audience to support the proceedings. Lead by the esteemed Larry Luttinger and Bret Zvacek, the Central NY Jazz Orchestra is a beacon of what an arts organization should be.
As supporters of the arts and music programs in general, it is important that we all find a way to lend support to the efforts of organizations like the Central NY Jazz Orchestra. Even with the fortuitous re-election of President Obama, funding for the arts is on a sharp downward slope. In this time of giving, don’t forget to support the arts and music in anyway you can. Go to a concert, buy a CD, make a donation, listen to public radio, introduce the music of a great artist to a young person, buy a new instrument for your niece or nephew.…the list is endless. It truly will make a difference and make you feel good too.