Friday, June 2, 2017

Music creates a bridge for Afghani teen and his future in the US

Under Taliban rule, the study and performance of 'Western' music is banned in Afghanistan. That didn't stop 17-year-old Ahmed "Baset" Azizi from his love of playing trumpet, but he lived in fear. If a neighbor or passerby heard him practice, he and his family could be in danger.

He was studying trumpet at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul when his instructor left and no replacement was named. Other instructors were nowhere to be found. The only way Baset could continue to challenge his skill was by watching You Tube videos of other trumpeters.

One of his favorites was David Bilger, principal trumpeter for The Philadelphia Orchestra. Baset reached out to Bilger online, and Bilger responded with an offer: they'd meet via Skype once a week for an hour of coaching. Baset was delighted.

Bilger didn't stop there. He teamed up with Robin Korevaar, a clarinetest and created a Go Fund Me page to bring Baset to the US to continue his study of music. It worked, and Baset attended the Interlochen school last fall. Now he's headed to the University of Kansas School of Music on a full scholarship, and another GoFundMe page has been set up to offset other living and travel expenses.

Baset hopes to touch the world and spread peace through his music. Bilger and Korevaar have done both by giving a hand up to a stranger on the other side of the world. 

No comments:

Post a Comment