Gavin Sol Goodrich piano concert at Lopez Center, July 22

Submitted by Micki Ryan.

Lopez remembers Gavin Goodrich. At a very young age, Gavin was the one who played hard at baseball, was a whiz with Rubik’s Cubes, and brought home the State Prize and a pie on Pi Day for memorizing 339 digits of pi—at age 13. Once there he sat down to compose a sonata, followed by a string quartet, followed by a symphony and the first act of an opera. His first piano teacher, Becki Berge, recalls Gavin coming to her with a list of hip-hop pieces he wanted to learn to play. She offered him C.P.E. Bach’s Solfeggietto, and opened the door to a world of classical composers in every genre, with every instrument, from the 1700s to the modern day.

In 2014 while still at Lopez Middle School, Gavin was accepted into the summer music school at Marrowstone, the premier orchestra training program of the Pacific Northwest. From there he went to Spring Street School in Friday Harbor where he continued to learn, experiment, and immerse himself in music, math and international relations. Upon graduation, Gavin was accepted at Columbia University in New York where he continued studies in music, math and computer sciences. Four years later Gavin graduated from Columbia, with Honors in Music (one of only two awarded to graduates this year) and he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for a year of music study and teaching in Spain.

Before he leaves the US in August, Gavin wants to bring his musical journeys and discoveries back to his Lopez supporters and admirers with a piano concert at Lopez Center on Friday, July 22, at 7 p.m. Admission will be by donation in any amount, collected by the John Bonnett Wexo Foundation. The Foundation will present all donations to Gavin to provide him with funds for musical explorations during his year abroad to continue his musical growth, while the Fulbright Scholarship covers living expenses and travel. The JBW Foundation is a tax exempt 501c3, indicating that your donation may be considered tax deductible.

This piano concert will include timeless pieces from the classical repertoire and music composed by Gavin during his years at Columbia, where he was mentored, tested and encouraged by some of the world’s most renowned contemporary composers. “My first three years here were spent getting out of my comfort zone,” Gavin remarked, noting that his middle and high school years had him totally immersed in traditional classical music. “When I got to Columbia, that’s where I first listened to the Beatles and to Frank Sinatra. I fell in love with Renaissance vocal music while I was there. It’s one of the only genres I know of that focuses on making each moment of the music beautiful. For my thesis, I explored how 15th century composition techniques could be used in microtonal structures, that is, music whose notes exist between notes on a piano.”

The educational challenges thrown at Gavin stimulated his growth and appreciation and wonder and opened more doors to exploration of music of every kind. When asked what influenced his early growth most, he pointed to the amazing opportunity of Marrowstone back in 2014, where the only other piano student spent hours practicing and teaching Gavin individually. “That was my jumping-off place,” Gavin recalled, “but there is no way I would be where I am without Spring Street School allowing me to experiment and perform, and working with the school’s international project in Guatemala greatly improved my Spanish. Lopez gave me encouragement and appreciation, Becki challenged me to learn and feel the composer’s mind, the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival opened my mind and ears and understanding that my life could be music.”

There is much more to hear from this young man. He will bring you on his journey and visions of its continued path and byways at Lopez Center on Friday July 22, 7 p.m. Please note that donations by credit card cannot be taken at the door, but donations by check or cash are accepted and a receipt will be provided.