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CAFOB Prodigy 1 – Dorothy Gal

 Meet Dorothy Gal, soprano, Houston Opera Company.

     We first met Dorothy when she was 15 years old, auditioning to compete in Brevard’s Got Music Talent at the Henniger Center.  The Creative Arts Foundation (CAFOB) was new in Brevard County then, a non-profit group that seeks out special talents among young music students of the region. As one might imagine Dorothy was a stand-out, singing the Laughing Song by Mozart.  I know, because I sat in as one of the audition judges. We were all “wowed.”

Since, Dorothy has continued to study music, piano and voice, plus learning a number of foreign languages. She participated in many of the CAFOB Music on the Hill series, plus she won first place in the third season of Brevard’s Got Music Talent competition (winning $1000). A native of Cocoa Beach, she is surely a local treasure.

She eventually went on to complete her college studies a Rice University and is now a full-fledged operatic performer at the Houston Grand Opera, one of the most prestigious in the United States. We are all very proud.

      Here is a recent performance by Dorothy in Houston:

Ho perduto, il caro sposo from Handel’s Rodelinda – YouTube

     Here

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OH BEAUTIFUL FOR SPACIOUS SKIES

We’ve lived in the best of times. We should be thankful.

     This is about having a great day this past Sunday, when the patriotic aura among Americans got caught up in the moment, without prompts.

     Yes, gone are the days when we would see all Americans, of all colors, ages, ethnic background, religions and sexual orientations, stand to express their love of country. Yes, we are imperfect and mistakes are made, and individual prejudices exist to be sure, but when comparing the USA to the rest of the planet, I’ll take our freedoms and opportunities before any other nations in the world.

     Retired Medical Examiner, Dr. Jay Barnhart and myself have been entertaining and playing at private clubs, civic organizations, libraries, assisted living facilities and many other private stages for the last twelve years, a couple old-timers with long careers in public service who still like to play with their toys.

    His toy is a piano. Mine is a violin. Our mothers forced us to practice and take lessons when we were kids, and we are forever grateful. We came to call ourselves the Dick-Doc Duo, a former Homicide “Dick” and Medical “Doc.”

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ESTHER: A STORYBOOK PRODIGY

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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A UNIQUE ANNIVERSARY – MEETING ESTHER

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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DEFUNDING MUSIC IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

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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JUSTIN BIEBER : SPHINCTER OF THE MONTH, JAN 2014

 SPHINCTER OF THE MONTH

             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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THE NOSE DIVE OF AMERICAN MORALITY

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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