ECD captivates me because it speaks to both my head and heart—its blend of patterns, precision, and haunting, heart-rending melodies are immensely satisfying to practice, study, and improvise on. It’s led to both sublime moments of connection on the dance floor and extraordinary friendships beyond it.

As someone whose parents both died before the age of 65 and someone who has witnessed problematic outcomes thanks to nonexistent wills, outdated beneficiary designations, and the like, I am a fervent believer in estate planning and maintenance. (Knowing that wills are supposed to be revisited and revised periodically got me past the mental barrier of trying to make the document perfect for Future Me.) No matter how young or healthy you are, and no matter your income level or extent of savings, documenting your wishes is important. Your loved ones and legal representatives cannot read your mind (or act freely on what they think you had in mind) when you are no longer here.

I’m grateful to CDSS for supporting the musicians and teachers and communities that have enriched my life, and it’s a pleasure to anticipate paying a measure of it forward.