Saturday, June 10, 2017

Gracious Encouragement

Composer John Williams has contributed to some of the most popular movies in the history of cinema including Star Wars, Jaws, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, Superman, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Home Alone, Harry Potter as well as numerous others.  He has been awarded 5 Academy Awards, 6 Emmy Awards, 25 Golden Glove Awards, 67 Grammy Awards, and 7 British Academy Film Awards.  All of this to state: John Williams is a very accomplished musician and composer.

In July of 2016, trumpeter Bryce Hayashi, 13 years of age, and his mentor flugel player Mickle Miller stood on the sidewalk in front of John Williams’ home in Los Angeles, California, set up a music stand, and began to play the Star Wars theme song.  Someone saw what was happening and began to record the 2 musicians.  The young men were not aware that about half way through the song, the door opened and Williams listened from his front porch.  Afterwards, he came walking down the sidewalk and met the two young men.  He told a neighbor, referring to the high notes, “Hello!  I thought to myself that they would never make it, and they did!”  When he found out that young Bryce was the one who had been able to play the high notes he shook his hand and said, “Fantastic!”  That encounter is one that Bryce and Mickle will remember and be encouraged by for years to come.  How wonderful that someone took the initiative to record it.

In May of 2017, John Williams attended the graduation ceremony for Harvard University where he was given an honorary doctorate in music for his contributions to the motion picture arts.  As part of the ceremony, Williams was further honored by Harvard’s 15 member all-male a cappella group, Din and Tonics, performing a five minute medley of some of his most memorable music themes from Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, ET:  The Extra Terrestrial, Superman and others.  The audience responded with claps, laughter, and cheers as the music to each theme song began.  Along with being talented musicians, the men were also delightful entertainers.  Throughout the music, the camera people focused on John Williams' face as the group sang and the audience enthusiastically responded.  He was constantly smiling, laughing, and enjoying the music, harmony, and reactions to his music.  After the musical tribute, the graduates were instantly on their feet with a standing ovation.  They were joined in the ovation by John Williams who held out outstretched arms of appreciation and gave the young men two thumbs up for their performance.  What a fitting tribute to John Williams and a gracious encouragement for the singers.

John Williams could very easily be content with what he has accomplished and keep to himself or choose carefully where he wants to go and what he wants to do.  How encouraging that he graciously chose to leave the comfort of his home to compliment a young thirteen year old and his mentor and also took advantage of the opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the creativity of 15 young college students at Harvard’s commencement.

I wonder who’s is need of an encouraging word or deed from us this week?  It could make a difference for a lifetime.arva

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
I Thessalonians 5:11

When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.
Acts 11:23

Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.
Romans 15:2

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29


  1. It was so very beautiful of you to celebrate the genius and gentleness that John Williams continually brightens the world with. The magical moment that Bryce Hayashi and I experienced with Mr. Williams outside of his home last July was just one example of all that he continually does to bring smiles to the faces of many. Thank you again... :)

  2. What an honor to hear from you. That was a very touching video. I've watched it several times. You both played beautifully and what a gift for the composer to acknowledge your gifts and talents. I also loved that you were brave enough and encouraged Bryce that he had the talent to even play in front of the composer's home. You are all three winners in my book. We are now all fans of John Williams as well as his music.

  3. Well, thank you again so very much! Your kind words are much appreciated, and I'm so glad that our musical adventure in a galaxy far, far away has made such a positive difference! :)