As a child, I was always fascinated by music. When my family moved to Phoenix, I was starting the 6th grade. I wanted to join the school band and learn to play an instrument. Like many of my friends, I wanted to play the flute. My parents, however, could not afford to buy or rent a flute, or any other instrument for that matter, for me to play. My mother remembered that her brother had played the clarinet, and asked him if he still had it. He did, and a little dusting later, I had an instrument to play and was able to join the school band.
Now I find myself, roughly 25 years later, a corporate lawyer privileged to represent Desert Sounds Performing Arts as the organization works to provide instruments to students who find themselves in a situation similar to mine those many years ago – with the desire to pursue music, but no obvious way to do it. What my generous uncle was able to do for me, Desert Sounds Performing Arts will do for many students for years to come. I remain grateful that I had the opportunity to play music in school (even though I did not play the flute!). I know that the discipline I learned practicing (and practicing, and practicing . . . ) to keep that reed from squeaking has served me well as I have approached other challenges in my life, and I believe that being involved in music when I was so young contributed to the love I have for diverse forms of music today. I am proud to be a supporter of Desert Sounds Performing Arts, and I hope that as Desert Sounds Performing Arts continues to grow, every student in need will have the opportunity to play the instrument of their choice!
Shelley Detwiller DiGiacomo