Dorran's Musical Goals & Dreams
Dorran is a very unique boy. Of course, every parent says that about their child. However, in this case, if you take the time to view the video he worked so hard on, I hope you will see the same magic and spirit in him that I do every day.
So, let me tell you a little bit about him. To start with, like many children, Dorran has his own unique problems and gifts. His main problems are twofold and, strangely enough, result in some of his biggest strengths too.
First, Dorran has a condition called Asperger's Syndrome which is also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder. This can certainly lead him to have some odd social interactions or the need to be tapping or humming in the classroom while he is thinking or working on class exercises. However, as with other children with the same condition, the positive side is that this had led him to an incredible and singular focus in his life - his pursuit of music. Indeed, he has, in a very short time, become quite the accomplished alto and tenor saxophone player (as you can see on the video) and has also just started learning the piano.
Secondly, Dorran has an incredible imagination which is a great complement to his love of music because it has given him such an incredible drive. Certainly, he has a strong image of where his future is and how he needs to get there. However, the reason this is also a negative thing is that, like many imaginative and creative people, he sees that shining future but has great trouble with that not being reflected in reality right now. A strong part of the problem is, of course, funding those dreams and this is where we hope you, as a community, can come together and give him that lift up towards the stars.
Dorran has worked very hard already to try to fund some of his own dreams and will obviously continue to do so. He can often be found busking in downtown Traverse City, MI (busking is playing music on the street in front of hundreds of people and collecting donations in his music case). He uses this money to buy his own music supplies such as reeds and sheet music. He funded his own way into a music program last year called the Archipelago Project. He even purchased his own Tenor Saxophone last year which is, understandably, his most prized possession.
However, the pursuit of a career in music is certainly not cheap, even though it can bring joy to so many people in the long run. Indeed, Dorran is now reaching a point where almost every road forwards requires funding of one sort or another.
Here is a summary of both his short and long term goals and how you can help him to get there. Obviously, any donations you are able to make will go first to his immediate needs, then to his intermediate goals and anything more will go towards offsetting his long term dreams.
1) This year, Dorran wants, with all his heart, to study Jazz for two weeks over the summer, at a well renowned music and fine arts camp called Blue Lake. This will require a few dollars shy of $2000. This is his most immediate concern since this money must be raised by mid June if this is going to become a reality for him.
2) Dorran also understands the need to get regular, weekly, music lessons since he is clearly aware that sometimes, the only way to move forwards is to have somebody more experienced than himself explain how it works. He would like to get this started as soon as possible since he has only been able to afford sporadic lessons so far. This is an ongoing goal and would require $35 per lesson or about $1800 per year to make this a reality for him.
1) After completing a summer at Blue Lake and getting some regular music lessons, Dorran, with his insatiable thirst for learning music, has a strong desire to take a six week intensive course at Interlochen Center for the Arts next summer (and possibly the one after if he can afford it by then). Interlochen Center for the Arts is a worldwide respected music school near we live. There are several options that are offered each year but the one that Dorran talks up a storm about is the six week Jazz option where he would learn Jazz improvisation along with music theory and compostion as well as being part of a full jazz band with 3-5 hours of practice each day. He would get the opportunity to learn advanced techniques with his instrument with famous and highly skilled saxophone players from around the world providing individualized education and guidance for him. This six week course would cost a touch under $9,500 although, as you might expect, scholarships are available to cover that in part. I'm sure you can understand how your donations and support will make this a once in a lifetime experience on his quest to become a full time musician.
2) Dorran's Alto Saxophone, unlike his new Tenor Sax, is a very basic student grade instrument and a clear difference can be heard in the quality between the two instruments. Although it has certainly served his needs up to now, he really hopes to replace this student instrument as soon as possible with a higher quality instrument that will really reflect his unique and developing musical style and last him well into his future music career. This would likely cost $3000-$5000 unless a really good deal can be found somewhere. Dorran truly hopes he can achieve this goal within a year. Who knows, maybe there is a guardian angel or patron out there with a spare instrument lying around, right? :-D
3) Dorran is hoping, within a few years, to also get a musical instrument known as a Synthophone. This is a music synthesizer rather like a music keyboard but it is built into a real saxophone and uses actual keys and reeds to make the sounds, just like the instruments he is used to. This means that it would sound very natural as much of the tone will be based on his mouth shape and the airflow and not just a flat electronic sound. This would help him immensely in music composition since it would enable him to easily record complex melodies and articulations and allow him to experiment artistically with a wide variety of musical sounds. To achieve this goal, he would, however, need to come up with a little shy of $8000 so, without help from the community, this seems a long way off.
Long Term Goals
This is where the pursuit of music starts to become incredible costly and almost impossible to imagine without help from yourself and the rest of the community.
1) Dorran really hopes he can spend his final year of high school studying at Interlochen Center for the Arts which, as already mentioned, is a highly renowned music school. This would be an incredible experience for him and many famous musicians have got their start here. However, a year of tuition, fees, books, uniforms etc would cost a little shy of $50,000. Now, it is certainly likely that Dorran will qualify for scholarships to offset some of that cost. Regardless, that is a huge pill to swallow and Dorran covered it pretty eloquently in his video when he noted that if he busks 4 times as much as he does at the moment, it would still take him 9 years to reach that goal.
2) Dorran's final long term goal is to study at Julliard. Again, it is hard to imagine a better opportunity for him to develop as a musician but, like Interlochen, the costs are astronomical at around $64,000 per year. Again, he will likely offset some of this cost with scholarships but as you can imagine, he could certainly use all the help he can get if this dream is to ever become a reality for him.
Thank you so much for patiently reading through this page. I truly hope you are able to help Dorran to achieve his musical dreams by your kind donations and support.
Obviously, I understand that not everybody is able to make a financial donation but any ideas you have to help would be appreciated, no matter how large or small. You can certainly help by passing on this link to as many people as you can. If you know people in the music industry who might also be able to offer assistance, feel free to tell them.
Regardless, as a father, I thank you in advance for all your kind thoughts and support in helping my son reach his goals. More importantly, just imagine the incredible joy you are bringing to Dorran by giving him the helping hand he needs towards the stars and making his dreams come true. :-D
To start with, he did manage to get to Blue Lake last year where he studied some Jazz, learned a great deal of music theory and a lot about improvisation which he is now really enjoying and improving as one of the techniques under his belt. He also managed to get a beautiful Jupiter Baritone Sax which, after some wonderful work by the tech at Marshall Music to bring it into great playing condition, Dorran is now playing in his school band as the only Bari player. He has also been able to start getting a few private, one on one, music lessons which has certainly helped a great deal.
Many of Dorran's goals remain the same as he mentions in the video and his focus on music has been unwavering. He would still like to study at Interlochen for his final year of high school and eventually Julliard for a music degree.
This year, however, Dorran has two immediate goals that he could really use all you guys help in achieving. He wants to go back to Blue Lake, this time with his baritone saxophone, to study classical music in a full orchestra setting. He has already earned a scholarship from them for the lion's share of the costs so just needs to come up with around $400 by the third week of May to make this a reality. This would present him with the amazing experience of being able to study for two weeks with professional musicians from around the world!
Dorran's other goal, which he was unable to achieve last year, is to take part in the Archipelago Project which takes place over about a week and a half in the Traverse City area in August. This annual program helps to focus students on quickly learning a variety of contemporary music and perform concerts and gigs at several locations around the area. To achieve this goal, he would need to come up with another $280 by the beginning of July. Fingers crossed that he is able to make it this year.
Any donation you can make to Dorran's cause would obviously be greatly appreciated and go a long way towards helping him achieve his musical goals. Whether or not you are able to contribute financially by making a donation, please take the time to share this link with as many of your friends and family as possible.
Thank you in advance for everybody's kind support in making Dorran's dreams become reality.
However, there is still much more to do. Dorran still has to afford to buy uniforms to study there. Also, he still needs to raise funds to get regular music lessons so he can tighten and perfect his playing skills. Alternatively, if there is a kind saxophone player in or around the Traverse City, MI area that would like to donate some of their time to act as a mentor to Dorran, that would be amazing.
Either way, if everybody can make a renewed effort to spread the word about Dorran or offer assistance, no matter how large or small, that would be wonderful.
That link, again, is http://gofundme.com/entertainer
Thanks so much for your support!