Vail Daily letter: Thank you to Bravo! Vail
Lying in the grass, looking up at wispy, white clouds framed by crisp blue skies, a buzz vibrates through the atmosphere as a red-throated bright-green hummingbird zips by. A squirrel scrambles up a tree 10 feet away from a pianist pounding away on the keys.
Rugged mountains topped by the last of the summer snow create gorgeous 360-degree views. I take a deep breath of the cool, fresh mountain air. Humid remnants of a passing storm fill my lungs. Meanwhile, the powerful yet delicate notes of a world-class pianist and full orchestra waft through the air in this unique venue. The music penetrates my ears, my mind and my heart.
I have lived in the Vail Valley for 14 years, and each summer, I have attended at least one Bravo! Vail Music Festival concert at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater and often several other events. Once, my mom and I sat a few rows back from Gerald and Betty Ford themselves, and the gratitude of the moment sunk in even more. I come from a small town in Western Colorado and never had the opportunity to see orchestras unless we traveled many hours from home. Now, I live where every year I get to thoroughly enjoy these incredible musicians in an equally impressive setting.
But I don’t only want to express my gratitude on my own behalf. My children are able to attend these incredible concerts, meet accomplished musicians, touch and play violins, cellos, trumpets and drums and learn to play the piano with the help of Bravo! Vail piano teachers in the community-outreach programs. They are inspired to try things that may have otherwise been unattainable and get access to the support they need to do so.
Rewind to last winter — on a groggy, cold Monday morning, I am upstairs in my house in Edwards, going through the monotonous actions of getting ready for the day and getting my family up and out the door. Over the droning of the morning news spewing out of my television, I hear delicate piano music rising up the stairs. I turn off the TV and listen intently as my 12-year-old son passionately plays Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” on my grandmother’s piano. Tears of gratitude come to my eyes as I remember him five years ago going to his first Bravo! Vail piano lesson.
We couldn’t afford private lessons, but through the community-outreach program that Bravo! Vail offers to local kids throughout the valley, he learned the basic skills, technique and love for piano that brought him to that moment. My oldest has taken lessons through Bravo! Vail for five years, my middle son for three years and hopefully my youngest will be starting soon. We have been so blessed by this opportunity.
I am truly grateful for the opportunities that Bravo! Vail has afforded my family and myself. I want to express that gratitude to the organizers, the executives, the donors, the many staff and interns and the musicians from across this country and across the globe who come together to make all of these things possible. Words really can’t express how much I appreciate your profound influence on our community in general, but on my family and I more specifically. Thanks, Bravo! Vail.