Yesterday, we attended the Diana Crane Scholarship Benefit Concert in Princeton, New Jersey, spoke at the event, and had our foundation make a gift to celebrate the 26 years of service of one of our favorite professors at Westminster, the music school of Rider University. Diana was both Aaron and my academic adviser throughout much of our college experience, was instrumental in helping us create a sort of hybrid music-and-business program that allowed us to spend as much time in accounting and finance courses as in music theory classes, and helped structure the internships that were so valuable to our education.
In fact, so many of you send us letters through the contact form asking questions and seeking thoughts when, in our life, Diana was (and is) one of the few people that both Aaron and I trust, from whom we can seek advice, and who invariably, and gently, prods you to your own conclusion. She is the perfect example of making a difference, where you are, with the situation in which you find yourself, without making excuses. Just as importantly, “once you have made your choice on a path in life and taken it, don’t bother looking at the other road. It’s pointless.”
Since it has been six years since we last visited in person, Aaron and I, along with our good friend Jimmy, spent the afternoon at her home before going to dinner at a place called Harvest Moon Inn. It was so much fun to have everyone together and just be able to talk and catch up on what is new in person rather than on the phone or through Facebook.
We went back to Diana’s house and spent the evening talking with her and her husband, Giles. Jimmy and Giles made some music (Brahms piano and violin duets?) with Jimmy on the piano and Giles on the violin. Neither Aaron nor I had ever met him and he was just as charming, intelligent, and kind as his wife. Plus, we are now armed with bagpipe jokes, which I’m sure will come in handy someday. (Seriously, you never know about these things!)
We ended up leaving after a couple of hours; Diana had invited us to stay the night but my mom was back at the hotel (she had decided that after so much traveling, she wanted nothing more than to have a Meg Ryan movie marathon, take a bath, put on pajamas, and play on her iPad as she enjoyed the bounty from The House of Cupcakes) and we didn’t want to leave her too long so we, unfortunately, had to decline.
Overall, it was just a fantastic day. To be able to spend so many hours in discussion with people who are fiercely intelligent, have different life experiences, and are close enough that you don’t have to censor yourself so you can discuss virtually anything ranging from politics to religion, is so refreshing. I mean, during part of the dinner, Diana was recalling her experience working as a student during Germany prior to the days of reunification. As a fluent speaker of German, one of her responsibilities was to go into East Berlin and learn about life by finding out if certain books were available in bookstores. Hearing about her experiences first hand made that part of history so much more real than if we had just read it in a book.