“What comes from the heart goes to the heart.”
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge
“This could only happen here,” declared a bassoonist friend, with no small amount of emotion showing on his face. “Only in Halifax would the entire arts community turn out to support one of our own. This should have national coverage.”
One of our own is sick.
The other day, on short notice, several hundred people including musicians, artists, writers, dancers, and friends of the Halifax arts scene joined forces to raise funds for Jim, our ailing stage manager. We held a raffle, a silent auction, and a jam sale, which was particularly apt, given that the event was called Jammin’ for Jimmy.Musicians donated a different sort of jam to the event, providing a terrific mix of tunes and nifty arrangements for ensembles ranging from Baroque trio to jazz brass ensemble, to horn quartet to bass duo. For most of the afternoon, Jim sat close to the musicians with whom he has worked for nearly forty years, listening intently, happily, with a small smile of disbelief on his face.
*Once upon a time a young-ish viola player travelled to a distant land, where she auditioned for the chamber orchestra of her dreams. Backstage before the audition she was practically catatonic with nerves. Thankfully, a calm knight in shining armour was there to propel her around to where she needed to be, until finally he opened the stage door and pushed the viola player onstage. She won the audition, moved her family to the distant land, and has since enjoyed a twenty-year career with the chamber orchestra. It has never escaped the violist’s notice that it was the calm knight who made her audition easier, and that he has been making the work of countless musicians easier all along.*
I like to think that a fundraiser such as Jammin’ for Jimmy could happen anywhere. It was a much-needed change from all the materialistic holiday junk that’s shoved down our throats this time of year. As far as I’m concerned, Jammin’ for Jimmy is the sort of thing that has true meaning.
As for the national coverage, well, here’s a start. I have a small but loyal blog readership which exceeds Canadian borders; perhaps readers will be inspired to pass this one along to others, and send it a little further around the globe. At its heart, that’s what Jammin’ for Jimmy was all about: the joining of forces to do some good in the world.