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One of the things I have enjoyed over the years is watching people enjoy the sounds of music. Whether at dances, parties, picnics, concerts, benefits, fund raisers, community events, ethic functions, educational outings, family gatherings, jam sessions or music festivals-People do like their music. As a tamburitza performer-it is a great joy to be able to cross boundaries of Balkan music and play classics, contemporary, ethnic, country/western, Light jazz, and other types such as old favorites from the 30s40s50s and more to include Irish, folk and continental music. Music provokes reactions of surprise and pleasure as we tap into a resevoir of old time favorites.

As a member of "Tillie Klaichs Balkan Serenaders” I have had the best world I could imagine provided to me in the background and life learning of these fine musicians passed down to me through their pioneering efforts. Their style of music and repetoire has spread throughout the Western New York Serbian and Croatian community and more-to ALL of the groups that currently play in this area and beyond its NY State boundaries to fans nationally.

For me-its not just the music. It is the people and the culture I have come across through the years in the communities played for and music shared. From the beginning in the 60s (for me) of playing at the International Institute in Buffalo-or one of my very first concerts-(playing at an Italian Restaurant-Salvatores Italian Gardens) as a Serbian teen-playing Italian-Greek, and Russian music-the musical clash of cultures has been quite a rush-and provides many warm memories.

As I learned my craft-worked at it and present it the best way I know how. Practice is a daily part of my routine. A variation of the types of music I play constantly gives me a fresh perspective. No matter how many songs I know-there is always more to learn and the biggest room for improvement starts with me-no one else. As individuals we can't learn it all-but we can try to raise the bar-and a legacy-if I have one to give comes not only from playing but from communicating, writing and sharing the gifts of life.

It is in the center of written dialogue that I open the door to you-the readers-(and musicians) to give you an opportunity and a forum to speak. The ability to communicate is critical and important. As a musician writer and "TBL” my desire is to talk to you and ask your help and direction.. I have a vision of abused children that I believe need help. They need education and they need it in a classroom setting.

In the tamburitza field we think of ourselves as musicians. As COMMUNICATORS, I believe there is no limit as to how high the bar can be raised. I have a special care and love for abused children, teens and adults. I want to see our nation become comfortable with making their minds strong, educated and understanding of those things that can be destructive. In time I believe society will be the benefactor reaping the benefits of a generation of children educated on what abuse is-and DOING something about it!

Their lives-the classrooms of life-could be filled with souls-caring about the SOULS they will bring into this world. It's about being accountable-and responsible-to friends-family community and society by those they touch and interact with throughout their lives. I believe an acceptable age (6-12th grade) are taught the plight of children locally-nationally and internationally/globally-they will in time commit this to care and lifestyle. Annually there are 3 million cases of child abuse in the United States.

I have a vision of a TBL Foundation for children-some of that information is outlined in my Mission Statement for this web site. You-can help! Your thoughts-e-mail, comments and support are important!

In closing-Tamburashi, folk musicians, ethnomusicians, Suzuki teachers, international musicians, Serenaders, men and women's music organizations, friends and supporters of all kinds of music. Let me know your thoughts-This is an opportunity for you to have a place to come to-to share and make a difference-I’ve shown previous articles that bear out what we already know-Music matters-Music Heals and Musicians-can make a difference! Remember-



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