Celebration concert set for Vail Valley’s Trent Cole | VailDaily.com

Celebration concert set for Vail Valley’s Trent Cole

Lauren Glendenning
Trent Cole

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado – When Kathy Cole began planning a celebration of the life of her late husband, Trent Cole, she figured she’d have something at the Vail Memorial Gardens with close friends and family and a few singers.

The celebration has turned into a full blown concert, now scheduled at the Beaver Creek Chapel, Aug. 13, which will feature Alberto Mizrahi, a Chicago musician sometimes referred to as the “Jewish Pavarotti.”

Trent Cole’s love of music escalated as Lou Gehrig’s Disease took over his body and left him motionless. He was diagnosed in 2004 with one to three years to live – he held on, enjoying life as much as he could, until he died last March.

“He was just surrounded with so much love and support,” Kathy Cole said.

Alvin and Susan Schonfeld, family friends in the Arrowhead community, where Kathy Cole lives and Trent Cole lived for three years until his death, are close friends with Mizrahi. Alvin Schonfeld pointed out the Cole’s home while golfing with Mizrahi and told him Trent Cole would love it if Mizrahi came in and sang for him.

“He had actually composed a list of things he wanted to hear,” Mizrahi said. “It was amazing. He had just a will to live that I’ve never seen in a person.”

When Mizrahi sang a song about a guardian angel watching over a sleeping child, he said Trent Cole cried.

“At the end of that song, he wrote out, ‘Life is good,'” Mizrahi said.

Trent Cole could use his eyes to blink and his toe to spell out words. Mizrahi couldn’t believe how someone in his physical state could still have such a positive outlook.

“It was life affirming,” Mizrahi said. “I never felt quite so moved.”

When Kathy Cole called to ask Mizrahi if he’d perform a few songs for Trent Cole’s memorial celebration, he immediately agreed. Kathy Cole had her heart set on having music there because it had become a way she communicated with her husband as his disease progressed.

“He always liked music,” she said. “Music has a way of elevating our spirit.”

It was through music, and through the lessons Trent and Kathy Cole learned from his illness, that the couple realized the importance of their lives together.

When Trent Cole lost his ability to speak, he told Kathy “it’s amazing how much we talk, and how little we say,” Kathy Cole said.

Kathy Cole can’t wait for the concert, where Kathy Williams, a singer from California, will also perform. She wants the night to celebrate Trent Cole’s life through music. She said the evening won’t be somber; it will be upbeat and fun.

“This is a celebration concert,” she said.

Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@vaildaily.com

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