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October 21, 2006 — Ten years past.

That day helped change lives for many, in a very good way:

Esther Muradov was a delicate, 13 year-old young lady when we met her ten years ago today at our private home. With her mother on piano, she lifted her violin and played the first long note of a Vieuxtemps Concerto. Hair rose on my arms.  Suzanne and I, and friends, sat stunned as this child mastered the music as though in a concert hall.  When she finished, I lifted my jaw off the floor as a zillions questions flowed through my brain.

“How much do you practice?”

“About four hours a day.”

“Who’s your favorite violinist?” I asked

“Jascha Heifetz,” she responded.  

“But he died long before you were born.”

“I know,” she replied. “But he was the greatest of the 20th century.”

She was right.

“What are your ambitions, Esther?”

“Well, I’d like to go to Europe and compete internationally against other violinists. Maybe, someday I can play in Carnegie Hall.”

Her Russian-born mother, Pervin Muradov, answered for her, “Too expensive.  Besides that, her violin no good. Other kids will have much better instruments.”

“Perhaps we can do something,” I

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It was eight years ago today, October 21st, 2006, that I met a beautiful 13 year-old girl named Esther Muradov. Why is that such a big deal?

Because of her, the Creative Arts Foundation of Brevard, Inc., was born. This non-profit organization was formed to seek and assist exceptionally talented youngsters who have worked passionately toward improving their skills in music and the arts, and to help them realize their dreams. Since being formed, the foundation has provided more than seventy young musical talents with opportunities they may not have realized otherwise, including partial scholarships, music lesson, instruments, and venues in which to perform. More than $55,000 has been awarded in prizes and grants to the most needy of those youngsters. We have held over forty performance recitals featuring kids from ages 9 to 19, and five annual music competitions, awarding $1000 prizes to the winners, and lesser prizes to deserving young musicians and singers. The funding comes from generous lovers of talent within the community. It would never have happened if not for this young prodigy.

On that day in 2006, Esther visited our home with her mother, a piano teacher, to play the first movement from

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Marshall Frank: Music programs essential for student development

Keep essential programs in school;

Marshall Frank

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

School boards around the state may have to cut many positions in the ensuing years, including hundreds of elementary art and music teachers, which causes my heart to skip a beat. The long-range consequences could be more far-reaching than we imagine.

Few subjects are more important in school curriculums than music and art, particularly music. As president of the Creative Arts Foundation of Brevard, a nonprofit, I have been privileged to interact with many hundreds of talented youngsters in the last seven years who are immersed in superior music programs available in this region. These youngsters thrive on musical excellence, bringing harmony and love to their lives among friends and family.

When we hold annual music competitions, we are witness to the wonders of music and how well-grounded kids are who study instruments, act and sing in their school programs and thrive on music in general.

It all begins in the elementary grades. Much the same as sports programs, music keeps kids from the streets, from wandering into trouble, from being vulnerable to negative influences because it gives them identity and

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             January 2014

Justin Bieber, age 19

This month was an easy pick.

Young folks who find great fame and success are often seen wallowing in self love and depravity, thinking they are somehow more important and better than the average person. The selection for January of 2014 showed what a true fool he really is by anointing himself above the law in a Miami Beach residential neighborhood, embarking on a drag race (60 mph in a 30 zone) in his ostentatious Lamborghini. When stopped by the cops, he was less than polite, delivering a barrage of expletives to the officers before being hauled in for DUI. He was also allegedly under the influence of marijuana and prescription drugs while driving with an expired license. He was also charged with Resisting Arrest. Bieber was arrested with R&B singer, Khalil Amir Sharieff.

Other reports have come in claiming he had raced his car earlier in Miami at speeds up to 130 mph.

Well, why not. He’s Justin Bieber, rich and famous. How did he get rich? He sings.

Bieber is also under investigation for egging his neighbors house in California last month to the tune of $20,000 in

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Has our society gone nuts?

     From lying politicians, to open drug use, to pervasive sexual debauchery on film and tongue-wagging teen idols simulating sex on stage wearing underwear, society has basically given a green light to any form of behavior we once categorized as “unacceptable.”  The media and the American people in general no longer care about standards, positive role models and basic morality. If this is where we have come in the last forty years, I dread to think what the next forty will bring.

     This isn’t about one or two anomalies; this is an insidious problem throughout America and elsewhere.

     A congressman can openly admit to using illegal narcotics and still be allowed to hold office, yet be prosecuted. A mayor of a major city laughingly sloughs off having possessed and using crack cocaine while in office. Our last two presidents have possessed and used illegal drugs and luckily avoided getting caught. We all say “so what,” while loading our prisons with people who did the same thing.

     Top officials lie to congress and/or the American people about critical issues and nothing is done. An Attorney General lies about Fast and Furious sales of government arms to Mexican

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Miley Cyrus is a classic example of what has gone wrong in America.  For more reasons than one.    

     In case you missed the latest performance of the “matured” Miley Cyrus at the 2013 VMA Award show, take a few seconds to check out the video.  It’s video #2, scroll down, (after the 30 second commercial, sorry):

Click here: Miley Cyrus VMA Performance Of ‘We Can’t Stop’ Hits MTV; Network Censors ‘Molly’ Lyric (VIDEO)

     Just what we want for our impressionable kids, an American role model feigning dry sex on stage with some male stud, holding an oversized suggestive finger, slinging her tongue around like a whip and prancing half naked to what some people think is music.

     I have a beautiful 9 year-old great-granddaughter, who might think that Miley Cyrus is a cool lady. It worries me. I hope she never sees this performance, because it shatters the purity of youth and everything we don’t want in terms of values for our kids as they grow up. Yet, announcers delight in the extremism and praise her performance as though it had anything to do with talent.

     I may be an old fogey, but I consider myself fairly open and liberal

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Rarely do I write movie reviews from viewing a rental. But there are some readers who need to know about this picture.

“A Late Quartet” (rel. 2012) is for viewers who appreciate great drama about human passion, with fine acting and some good excerpts of classical music. Add to the story; love, lust, obsession, infidelity, trust, the bane of aging and how music embodies the very soul of dedicated lifetime musicians.

Twenty-five years of performing quartet music around the world, four artists bonded as a virtual family, but one that eventually breaks apart as latent jealousies emerge and one member develop a debilitating illness which threatens the future existence of the foursome.

The four love one another as they would love their own children, parents and spouses rolled into one. But the once that stable house of cards crumbles, never-before known feelings about one another out into the open. The story offers unpredictable struggles that may shock the viewer, realizing that these master musicians are only human after all.

The stars: Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Mark Ivanir, are as good as they get.

Some critics of the movie will be musicians like myself who immediately detect

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