There is a quote I like from Joel Barker who is a popular speaker and was the first person to popularize the concept of paradigm shifts for the corporate world. He said,
“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision merely passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.”
The world has plenty of people who are dreamers and plenty of people who take action, but it’s a little more rare to meet people who combine the two and make real changes in the world. It takes passion and commitment to make a difference and it is a lovely treat when someone like that runs across your path. It’s inspiration at its finest.
Recently, for the second year in a row, thanks to the vision and action of Dr. Dino Mulic and his wife, Dr. Sangmi Lim, my kids had the opportunity to play on the grand piano on the Performing Arts Center’s stage at Texas A & M University – Corpus Christi and Joseph was invited to sing along with the Corpus Christi Youth Chorale in the final performance of the week. A & M – CC boasts an incredible performing arts center – one of the top 35 in the United States so this was a pretty big deal. The stage and piano look massive to me; I can only imagine what it looks like to a child.
I took William and Joseph on Thursday night to watch Drs. Mulic and Lim perform in a duo concert and listened in awe as their fingers swept over the keys. After the performance, Joseph commented to Dr. Mulic, “Sometimes I’m nervous when I play because I worry that I’ll make mistakes,” Dr. Mulic kindly responded, “Oh it’s fine, we’re human.” Joseph said, “But I didn’t hear you make any.” Dr. Mulic said, “I actually did.” Those simple words…”I actually did”…caused a massive shift in my kids’ anxiety about playing onstage. Dr. Mulic’s words made a huge impact on my boys that day…the struggle to perform is real and Dr. Mulic never made it seem any less. It’s those kind of people…passionate, kind, determined and driven, yet fully human, with mistakes and struggles, that I want to be around to inspire my kids.
Saturday morning, my boys donned their suits and Katie dressed in her fanciest dress and we were off for the big performance. It was such a delightful experience for each of them (even the one that bowed backwards and the other who had a rough time getting started). Daxson once asked me why the kids have to participate in recitals…this is why. They were so confident, so proud to play for an audience. The recital was the culmination of all their time spent studying and practicing. We are incredibly thankful to our talented (and patient!) piano instructor, Margaret Jonker. She has been guiding my children in their piano studies for 2 years now (Andrew and Katie for 1 year) and we have loved watching them grow and blossom as musicians.
We returned on Sunday afternoon and received the treat of a lifetime. 8 grand pianos on stage, 8 professional pianists (plus a sextet and a quartet of community musicians who each played a few pieces), the Youth Chorale, and all of our favorite songs from The Sound of Music. It. was. AMAZING. I have never had the opportunity to hear multiple pianos played at once…when I closed my eyes, I swore the music was being made by more than just pianos!
Joseph joined the Corpus Christi Youth Chorale this last fall. This is the first city-wide youth choir Corpus Christi has ever had and it is directed by the talented Nan Borden along with Lorri Dow, Alexis Garcia, Katie King and Nick Lopez. Joseph was a bit hesitant to join, as he didn’t know many people in it, but this has turned out to be a highlight of his year. He loves all of his directors and he LOVES singing (as is evident in the performance).
The most remarkable thing about this entire celebration was the level of passion that was present. From our piano instructor and choir directors to the founders of the program, the center hummed with passion and enthusiasm. Sebastian Rodriguez, a music student at A & M, did an amazing job with the photography and Matt Perez, owner of The Piano Gallery, was kind enough to lend the celebration all of the beautiful pianos that you see pictured.
Next year, 2020, Piano Celebration Week is scheduled for March 27th thru April 4th. We already have our calendar marked…won’t you please mark yours, too? And if you believe in the vision and actions of Drs. Mulic and Sim, please consider making a donation by contacting Dr. Mulic at firstname.lastname@example.org.