Portland Family Reflections -- Weekly Inspiration from Matt


This week's Inspiration comes from our horn player Matt.  Matt reflects on a recent trip to play with the Oregon Ballet Theatre in Portland during which he, his wife Sunshine, and their son Maverick stayed with his family.  This is a seriously heart warming blog post, and I hope that manyof young kids today are blessed with parents as supportive as Matt's!


Last month Maverick, Sunshine, and myself took an epic road trip out to Portland for a family visit and to play The Nutcracker with Oregon Ballet Theatre. We pulled in at my parents place after four days on the road and as I headed  through the door my dad was on his way out. “Hi Matt! I’ll see you later, I’m on my way to rehearsal”, he said and  jumped in is car. He was friendly enough and I knew we’d have plenty of time to hang out so I wasn’t offended in the least, but was still taken aback.

In their “retirement” my parents manage somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 rental property units in Portland. They  keep quite busy and my dad is the one responsible for most of the repairs and maintenance. Lazy is not a word to describe their lifestyle. That said, lately I’ve not known my father to take too much time to actively indulge in a hobby that he was really excited about. It would be normal to come through the door and see him crashed on the couch in front of the TV. Now he’s taking lessons with one of the trumpet players in the ballet and playing in the community/student wind ensemble at his alma mater, Warner Pacific College. We were actually competing for practice room space at my parent’s house!

Rewind about eight years. It was my last concert with the Eugene Symphony and my parents had driven two hours from Portland to hear the last concert of the season with Yo-Yo Ma. They decided to stay the night in the Hilton next to the  Hult Center after the show and head back in the daylight the next day. My mom got in the elevator the next morning to get her continental breakfast and who was in the elevator but Yo-Yo Ma himself! My mother is not shy. She jumped right in and started up a conversation about the concert, music, her son who was moving to Chicago, etc. In typical fashion, Mr. Ma was gracious and talkative. She stepped out of the elevator inspired and a month later was studying the cello  privately with one of my former colleagues in Portland. She continues to play still.

My parents were always supportive of my music making. They bought horns and recordings (I still have an LP of Brahms’ Second Symphony that was purchased in preparation for one of my first Portland Youth Philharmonic concerts), and  spent more money on private lessons than they’d probably like to remember. They never doubted the investment for a moment.

When I was young these resources provided invaluable inspiration that made me the musician I am now. But now there  is little that’s more inspiring than seeing my parents playing music and enjoying it the way I have for so many years. Glad you guys love it! Thanks for everything!