Education, Music, and Ray Charles

Ned Luce Life in Ludlow
Posted 8/14/18

All you folks who appreciate music, of all kinds, are probably already knowledgeable about the organization named “Music Aid Northwest”. Then again, I suggest many of us are not that well …

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Education, Music, and Ray Charles


All you folks who appreciate music, of all kinds, are probably already knowledgeable about the organization named “Music Aid Northwest”. Then again, I suggest many of us are not that well informed. At my Rotary Club meeting last week the very interesting program was provided by Bob Tormberg, the president of the board of directors of the group. I also note that locals Dave and Dani Turissini are on the advisory board of the group.

Five days following the devastating Tsunami that hit Southeast Asia on December 26, 2004, a group of friends performing or attending a New Years Eve party in Seattle took up a collection and donated over $500 to World Vision to help with relief efforts.  This diverse group of friends, all with ties to the music community, recognized the powerful combination of music and philanthropy and agreed to pool their resources to benefit music education in Washington State. Music Aid Northwest was born.  In 2010 a law was passed that allowed Music Aid Northwest to show that “music matters” through the purchase of “Music Matters” specialty license plates.  The first plates became available in 2012. The funds that are raised through the “Music Matters” license Plate project, and the “Play it Forward Concert Series” are distributed through a grant process administered by the Washington Music Educators Association and Music Aid Northwest.  Teachers, with the support of their administrators, are encouraged to apply for these funds.  100% of the “Music Matters” license proceeds have been or will be donated to music education.  Bob noted that Chimacum High School was the recipient of the first grant.

Also important to note is that the Port Ludlow Performing Arts gave over $4,000 to Chimacum High School for instruments and over $700 to Quilcene Schools for harmonicas.

On the subject of education congratulations are due to Chimacum Schools Superintendant Rick Thompson and his staff with the voter approval of the school levy. There are so many reasons this support is crucial for our community. The newest Rotary Foreign Exchange Student is due in town this weekend and she will attend Chimacum High. She was born in China but adopted by a couple in the Netherlands. She clearly has been exposed to some diverse cultures. Just wait until she sees all of us! I might even tell about that small men’s college in rural Indiana, Wabash. That reminds me that Rotary International decided to allow women members in 1987, a decision not labeled “early” or even “timely”. Now women are almost half the membership and I heard there is an all-woman club! In any case, meeting the needs of the students and exposing them to the advantages flowing from a good education are critical to the success of a community, whether they are men or women. As a seventh, eighth, and ninth grader I remember clearly the experience of playing the sousaphone in the high school band along with the senior center on the basketball team. Yes, it looked like “Mutt and Jeff” marching down the football field during the halftime shows. In case you are interested, I do have pictures.

I noted an unusual bumper sticker the other day. It said, “Flute players are the hot ones.” I am not sure what that really means, but a “Google” search yielded an incredible array of jokes about flute players. Try this one: “Did you hear about the flute player who was so out of tune that they noticed? Me neither.” Frankly, I always envied the flute players because their instruments were noticeably lighter than that sousaphone. Or, maybe I should have played a harmonica!

Oh yes, the all-time number one song is “What’d I Say” by Ray Charles.

Love a curmudgeon, have a great week!


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