The Sweetest Music of All: Thoughts on Giving by Fred Plotkin
"When my father, who played the trombone with expressive beauty, died in 1996, I decided that the most fitting way to continue that wonderful sound was to create a scholarship at Juilliard to help students who select the trombone as their singular and soulful musical voice. I am happy to support musicians who choose an unusual instrument, which other donors might overlook. Through the years I have been thrilled to meet young trombonists at Juilliard who possess gorgeous tone and musicality, and I know that my Dad would be deeply moved that he was a part of their education.
"What I did not anticipate, in creating a scholarship to help one student each year, was how all-embracing the Juilliard community is. I have come to feel part of a large and very talented family. There is something so bracingly positive about seeing young people discover their creativity in the nurturing, yet open environment that is Juilliard. I love going to performances by Juilliard students because they are alive to their creative juices in a way that older artists often are not.
"To be a supporter of Juilliard is to receive immeasurably more than one gives, even if one can be exceedingly generous. What better pleasure can there be than to see and hear palpable results of one's contribution? I have learned that endowing a scholarship in a loved one's memory is a powerful linking of the past to the present, with the promise of making someone's future more meaningful. That is the sweetest music of all."
Fred Plotkin contributes annually to the Edward J. Plotkin Trombone Scholarship at Juilliard.