It’s good practice to honor and remember community members who have died.
It is even better when their legacy can elevate their memory to benefit future generations.
Devin Ossman, a talented local musician who died March 19, would certainly be pleased to know that he will go on making his mark on the musical studies of the young musicians of Whidbey Island who may otherwise not have been able to continue their music education.
The “Simple Gifts Benefit Concert” will take place at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley. The curtain will be held for the Hearts & Hammers volunteers.
Proceeds from the concert will go directly to the Devin E. Ossman Memorial Fund for Young Musicians.
The fund, created in honor of the gifted flutist and composer, carries Ossman’s gifts forward by supporting talented young musicians on Whidbey Island with private music lessons, music camp scholarships or other music training that they could not otherwise afford.
The goal is to raise $10,000 this year. Organizers said they are already nearly half-way to that goal.
Ossman’s father, David Ossman, will host the evening of performances by local musicians. Performers include Siri Bardarson, Kathy Fox, Gretchen d’Armand, Elizabeth Felt, Linda Good, Chris Harshman, James Hinkley, Heidi Hoelting, Randy Hudson, Talia Toni Marcus, Linda Morris, Steve Showell and Joanne Rouse, Claudia Walker and other special guests.
Marcus, a long-time musical companion to Ossman, said that she feels an affinity to Ossman in that they were similar in many ways in their musical life.
“We both are musicians who compose on our feet; improvise,” Marcus said.
“We both have a deep love of Bach and our musical expressions are echoes of Bach.”
Indeed, Ossman organized a sold-out concert at WICA last year entitled, “Devin Ossman and Friends: Here, There and Bach Again.”
“I will offer a brief improvisation on a Bach fugue, allowing Devin’s spirit to guide the flow,” added Marcus.
Marcus said that she and fellow musicians Good, Showell and Rouse joined with Ossman to form the Island Contra Band, which played for contra dances on the island.
“We would play for as many as
34 couples in four lines,” Marcus said.
“So we would ‘honk out’ the music to be heard above the stamping feet and happy faces and take turns dancing in the lines. Devin always made extra sure the kids could follow along and keep up with confidence. Tonight, a few of us will join to play some of Devin’s favorite contra dance pieces,” Marcus said.
The entire community is invited to honor Ossman’s life and enjoy all styles of the music that he loved to perform.
For those who are unable to attend, donations can also be made at any
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the WICA box office or by calling 221-8268 or at the door