Hi all, I wanted to start a new thread today. This one is more a story. I would love too hear from you if you have similar stories. When I was in 6th grade I was bussed to Iroquois Middle School in Louisville, KY. At that time in Kentucky bussing was a way of having better ethnic balance in the schools. (I don't know if they still have that now.) I wasn't thrilled about it because I had a school very near to my house that I wanted to go to. At that time I had been playing trumpet for two years. That's actually a very generous description. What I mostly did was bang my trumpet around and get out of class twice a week for music. I just wasn't very interested in the trumpet back then. That all changed when I got to Iroquois and met the band director. His name was Robert Jarrett. Mr. Jarrett, and that's what I still call him to this day, was a big tall black man with a very impressive afro. I couldn't tell you why we hit it off, but we did. The first year I was there I started to get interested in music and how fun it was to play with a group of people. At the end of that year I got to play with the eighth grade band and I was hooked. When I moved on to 7th grade Mr. Jarrett started to notice I had some natural talent for the instrument. He wanted me to have lessons, but my family couldn't afford it. His solution was to teach me himself for free. Mr. Jarrett played trumpet in college and still played pretty well back then. We would stay after school 2 or 3 times a week and work out of the Arbans book. I remember that we started at page one and worked from there. After the lesson he would drive me home which was in the opposite direction from his house. When I got to high school I was able to stay at Iroquois, they were a 6th through 12th grade school, so that I could still be in Mr. Jarrett's band program. In ninth grade he decided he had taught me as much as he could so he started paying for my lessons with local pros out of his own pocket. He also decided that I should have a good instrument so he bought me a Bach 72 light weight bell trumpet. He did all of this on a teachers salary. He did so many things for me musically, financially, and personally that it's impossible to put it all down in words. I will always remember when I was in 7th grade he told me that he would make sure he got the doors opened for me, all I had to do was find a way to get through them. Whenever I am given an opportunity like hosting a forum on Trumpetmaster I think about what he told me and feel so lucky to have met him. I am quite certain that without his help and influence I would not have a career in music. It's so important to have good people to help us when we need it. I also think it's important to acknowledge the people who helped us get to where we are. Thanks for reading this thread and I hope if you have someone who opened doors for you that you'll consider sharing your story with us. Best, Andrew ps. I know this wasn't on my list of upcoming threads. I promise to get a few of them on this week. Thanks for your patience.