LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Many deserve our deepest gratitude

To the editor:

We want to express our deepest gratitude to this wonderful and most beloved of communities for their tender care, support and abiding compassion during this most difficult of times for our family.

Truly, you have sustained us and helped us “gently turn.”

Thank you to the musicians who played The Simple Gifts benefit concert on May 3 with such heart and beauty, connecting one by one the stars in the constellation of Devin Ossman’s musical community on Whidbey Island.

Thank you Elizabth Felt for letting us hear the flute to lift our hearts; thank you to Chris Harshman for the two sides of the reed man — Vivaldi and a truly stunning take on Devin’s “Falling Stars” composition; thank you to Gretchen D’Armand and Heidi Hoelting for three beautiful songs that spoke to us tenderly; thank you to James Hinckley and Siri Bardarson for daring the duos and delivering them delectably; thank you to Kathy Fox for her three uninterrupted offerings, which were simply and beautifully given; thank you to the Island Contra Band, Joanne and Steve Showall, Talia Toni Marcus, Judy Magidson, Greg Deer, Angela Riggins and Linda Good — we loved your set — Devin’s favorite waltz, the Venezuelan numbers, and Talia’s special touch on the Bach Bourree — all wonderous.

Thank you to No Band is an Island — Randy Hudson, Linda Morris and Siri Bardarson who bravely brought back vivid and wonderful memories of music Devin wrote, played and loved — words cannot actually express our gratitude to you.

Thank you to Claudia and Amy Walker for the simple and not so simple variations on the theme of “Simple Gifts” which were windows into the composer’s direction, and, of course, the gift of rendering the song itself.

Thank you to Island Strings and the Whidbey Island Community Orchestra for reprising their truly inspired and uplifting performance of the “Bach Concerto in D minor for Two Violins,” and kudos to the young violinists Mira Yamamoto, Marena Salerno–Collins, Gloria Ferry–Brennan, Terra Applegate, Kalob Tatum, Hannan McConnaughey and Michael Hunner and blessings to their support orchestra Kat Fritz, Talia Marcus, Linda Good, Linda Morris, Jean Frankhauser, Zoe Hensler, Susan Hanzelka, Lizzy Hanselka, Enid Braun and Barbara Phillips.

Thank you to Kathleen Landel who held all the pieces together to get the show on the road and on the stage. We simply could not have done this without you and the very capable volunteers Dave and Callie Beers who kept the flow smooth; and to Stacie, Tyler, and the WICA staff who helped us make the memorial concert a reality. Again, our loving thanks. Gratitude to James Hinkley for his help with the program. Gratitude to Robbie Cribbs for helping us in pre–production and for recording the concert. Loving thanks to Kate Hodges for the beautiful and swiftly accomplished poster and to Rachael and Rob Mattern, of Joe’s Island Music for helping in so many ways. Profound gratitude to Candy Houser and her children for finding and sharing Devin’s music which gave this concert its name and underlying vision.

Immeasurable appreciation goes to the community — to all of you — who turned out for this concert, who came and heard the music and shared the magic of the evening. And to so many of you who have contributed to the fund.

Because of you, we can sustain our effort to carry forward the gift of music with scholarships to students and sustenance to their teachers.

More than $3,000 was raised at the concert which, when added to the generous contributions of friends and family from near and far, brings the fund balance to nearly $8,700, well within range of our $10,000 goal. Contributions can be made any time, at any

US Bank branch.

Congratulations to Marena Salerno-Collins, the first recipient of a scholarship from the Devin E. Ossman Memorial Fund for Young Musicians. She will be continuing her violin lessons with Linda Good.

With love from our hearts to your hearts,

David Ossman and Judith Walcutt


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