Hello and thanks for checking out my GoFundMe. My name is Chris Harrison and anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about Music. I am currently an active professional musician and passionate music educator in the Roaring Fork Valley area of Colorado. For the past several years I have been working with an incredible non-profit organization called Jazz AspenSnowmass that helps to promote music education in our area and provides much needed support to student musicians and music programs in the schools. In addition, I am also very fortunate to be a Music Specialty Teacher at the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork. Every day I get to work with young people, helping them to achieve their musical goals and dreams, and inspiring the next generation of musicians who feel as passionately as I do about the joy and importance of Music. But today, I am the one who so humbly needs your help and support in order for me to not only take a next step on my life's journey with Music, but also to maximize my potential as a performer, teacher, and human being.
I am asking for your generous financial contribution in order for me to purchase a professional quality bassoon. The majority of my playing experience during my high school and college years was on the bassoon (a double reed instrument and the lowest of the woodwind family of instruments), although most of my present-day community around the Aspen/Glenwood Springs/Rilfle area knows me as a saxophone player, either as a private music lessons teacher, or perhaps with my good friends, The Broccoli Brothers and Jes Grew or Sector 7G. A couple years ago a fellow music teacher did me the huge favor of letting me borrow a student bassoon from their program, since no one was playing it. Back then, there were virtually no bassoon players in any of the middle or high schools I was working with. After over 15 years, I picked up that bassoon, broke out some VERY old reeds, and started playing again - and my skills were all there! In fact, I felt I was better than "back in my day" because of how much I had grown as a musician since college. I now have four regular bassoon students in my teaching studio and have started several other talented kids on the instrument since then.
Under "normal" circumstances, I would never even think about reaching out for a request like this. I am more than happy to work hard to buy the tools and make the investment needed to do my job. A few years ago I invested over $4500 in upgrading my saxophones to professional quality instruments, as well as other woodwind instruments I use regularly for teaching lessons. For $4-5k you could buy a top of the line flute, oboe, clarinet, trumpet, etc., but not a bassoon. That amount won't even get you a brand new student model like the one I've been borrowing! So can you start to imagine how much we're talking about for a professional bassoon? Absolute bare minimum I've found is $12,000. Industry standard instruments by the leading American manufacturer start at $20,000 (used) and it very easily goes up from there. Quite honestly, that is just not within my means. So I knew I'd have to get creative, take a chance, put it out to the universe, and here we are :-)
The donations I receive from this GoFundMe will go directly to the purchase of a professional quality bassoon for my use as a teacher and area performer. No, I will not be buying the fanciest, most exensive instrument I can find. I'm honestly not THAT good of a player. But this will be an instrument that I will own (or one like it) for the rest of my life. And at the end of this life, I promise you right now that this instrument will be donated to a student/fund/or program that will pass it on to another passionate, deserving, and dedicated soul. I will also dedicate 100% of any left over funds to the creation of a scholarship fund to provide free bassoon and oboe lessons to students in my area who are in need of assistance. But there is another reason why I'm asking for your help and this request.
Yesterday I auditioned for the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra - and I made it! I am so excited about this acheivement. It's one of the happiest and proudest moments of my life, right now as I write this. When I was a student, I had a hard time stepping up to challenges. I wasn't one of those players that was just motivated to be the very best at my instrument. I was motivated by playing WITH people, so I did the best I could on audition pieces and making sure I had my parts down, at least for the most part. But I NEVER even dared to think that I would ever be a good enough musician to play with a professional orchestra. Today, I'm living in a new reality. I worked really hard the last couple months preparing, took the chance, went and auditioned, played my very best, and it has payed off big-time. So that's why I'm asking for this request of my friends, family, community, and universe right now - I need my own instrument. I need a professional bassoon.
I was told my first time playing with the Grand Junction Symphony could be as soon as February. I would REALLY like to go on stage with a professional orchestra for my first time with a professional instrument. This opportunity is so very important to me because it represents the end of so many of my own mental and spiritual limitations about myself, my talent, and my potential as a person. I KNOW now that I can go so much further than I ever imagined because I just have. Please help me however you can to continue on this amazing journey that is my life with Music. When I am performing or teaching, it feels like that is what I'm here on this Earth to do. I know this because I am one of the very, very fortunate souls to be living their dream, following their passion, working out of a place not for simple financial gain or survival, but from a place of deep service to the world and humanity, and I am truly excited for every day and all of YOU in it!
Besides - I'm hopefully going to need to give this student bassoon back to the school so another kid can start playing it. And if I did that and had a bassoon gig or lessons - without an instrument!?! Can you imagine how that would suck! Please help my life not to suck! PLEASE! Seriously, anything you can give will mean so much to me. Every dollar that is added makes another of my "impossible" dreams that much more possible. As I wrap this up, it does strike me a bit silly to basically be asking: "Ah, could you please help me to buy a bassoon?" - but in my experience it is a wild, crazy, wonderful world full of magic, mysteries, of course Music, and truly amazing, generous people.
Blessings be to all of You.
aka "Big Red"
aka "The Carrot"
aka "Mr. Harrison"
- Molly Hammar
- Brian Tondryk
- Frank Martin
- Angie Fitts
- Daniel Barnes
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