Dear family, friends, and community,
As many of you know, I am an aspiring flutist with high hopes of carrying my career as a flutist to the highest levels.
In order to reach my dreams, I need an instrument that can facilitate the high level playing I am capable of. Fortunately for me, I have found the "wand to my wizarding skills," or the flute of my dreams you might say. Unfortunately for me, I play one of the most beautiful and expensive instruments out there. Professional flutes are made with pretty expensive metals.
In the grand scheme of flutists trying to land a great job, or get into a good music school, I would describe my situation as: my current flute is like a Barbie Tricycle in a BMX bike race. It's not impossible that I couldn't continue with my flute and be successful, but is infinitely more difficult to compete. Although I had my debut at Carnegie this past April, it was clear that among the other flutists in the concert, I was the disadvantaged one based on the instrument I carried on stage. The next I perform at Carnegie Hall, I will have a flute that truly reflects the musician I am.
To purchase my new flute, I have taken out a large personal loan, thanks to a wonderful Credit Union, and have a gorgeous professional flute to continue my career on. I am asking for financial support from my friends, family, and community to help lift the loan burden off my shoulders.
I appreciate any and all forms of support. I set up this GoFundMe as a way for people to donate money that will go directly to helping pay off the loan for my flute.
Other ways you can support my endeavor is to come see me perform! I have a recital coming up on March 31, 2019. There is a small ticket price, but the funds go to me and to the Northampton Community Music Center Scholarship Fund!
I currently work as the Administrative Assistant for the Northampton Community Music Center, the place my heart fell in love with music. In this job position, I have the privilege to help other aspiring musicians get the chance to explore music, regardless of their socio-economic circumstance.
The work I do as a musician and flutist has significant impact in my community. My work as a flute teacher is more than just notes on the page. If you have time please read my short story about impact:
Right before I graduated from Mount Holyoke College in May 2017, I attended the traditional strawberries and champagne celebration with many of my fellow graduating classmates and the President of the college.
Standing among my close friends sipping bubbly, President Stephens stepped into our semi-circle. The president asked my friend what impact she was going to have on the world after leaving Mount Holyoke. "I'm attending graduate school to receive my degree in Clinical Psychology," replied my friend. All of my friends replied with their new job positions and their graduate study plans.
When President Stephens looked me in the eye to ask how I planned to impact the world, I was embarrassed to respond. "I don't really know what I'm doing," was my response. At that moment, my friend chimes in, "Sam is an AMAZING flute player, and she is going to be a famous musician!"
Music always seemed like the selfish choice to me. Even just a little over a year ago, I still did not understand how me being a flutist could have any impact on other people's lives - besides possibly being a poor musician and a burden.
At this point, I have found the answer I was searching for when President Stephens stared into my eyes and asked how I was going to change the world.
Here's what I would have said to her:
I am going to be a flutist, and inspire other young girls and women to achieve far beyond what they believe is possible. I am going to be the one to recognize their talent, and tell them they can achieve all their dreams, and then show them they are capable of FAR MORE.
I have three major achievements to share with you.
1) The first student I began working with fours years ago is now the co-principal of the Boston Youth Philharmonic. No doubt, it's because she is an EXTREMELY skilled and hard working flutist. I began working with her when she was in seventh grade. Now a junior in high school, she has out-performed my flute records when I was her age. She auditioned for chamber camps and Western Mass Districts and All-State. She was victorious in every venture and competition.
2) One of my younger students loves to play flute. She is outgoing, smart, and kind. I encouraged her to participate in the Rock Band Program at the Northampton Community Music Center. This program is predominantly attended by boys, with an occasional girl sprinkled into a group here or there. The whole experience was out of her comfort zone. The music was not classical flute music. The ensemble was not concert band, it was a loud rock band with microphones. My student was nervous and shy before her first day. And by the end of the week concert, she was on stage singing into the microphone and soloing on her flute. She was totally rocking out! And she was victorious.
3) The most recent student I began working with had the goal to audition and get into Western Mass Junior Districts. After working together for a few months, I knew she was capable, with hard work, to get into Senior Districts. One path was the easy, comfortable path. The other path was riskier and beyond what my student thought she was capable of. With encouragement and perseverance, this young flutist dove into the deep end and auditioned for Senior Districts. She was victorious.
My students did the hard work. They put in the hours, and they all exceeded their own expectations of what they thought was possible. These achievements are not mine, they belong to my students.
There is something extremely powerful about teaching young musicians, because you are showing someone their own inner brilliance and enabling them to believe anything is possible. Once they believe they can, once someone tells you it's possible, you are unleashed from your own self and are unstoppable.
Your donation will not only help me achieve my goals, but you will support me in impacting the lives of my students for years to come.