It is difficult to believe that it’s already October, when Rush Hour seems so fresh in my mind. I hope that you enjoyed the summer as much as I did- and that the music and RH community lifted your spirits, complemented the beautiful weather, and gave you a place to pause and reflect.

I love being on the RH production team, except for one thing: I don’t always get to be an audience member. This summer, although I attended every concert, I remember one specifically in which I had the opportunity to sit and listen in a different way- and no, I won’t say which one! Suffice to say that it had been a long day for me. It was one of those days- and we all have them- that I felt that I was starring in my own version of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

The magic of the series set me straight, though. After 30 minutes of beautiful music, I somehow knew that all of the many seemingly insurmountable problems I walked in with were diffused, placed in perspective, and not nearly as bad as I had thought. “Wow!” I thought. “We do exactly what we say we do!”

The summer was also successful beyond my wildest dreams. I was uplifted and delighted by meeting all of you, and by seeing firsthand the support and love you all have for Rush Hour. How fortunate we are to have this kind of audience community with whom to share these outstanding concerts! NBC Nightly News thinks so too: they featured Rush Hour in their series “What Works” in August. (If you did not yet have a chance to see this clip, please click here to watch.)

With successes like this behind me, I feel confident about reaching the major goal left to accomplish before the end of the year: meeting our “Under 40” challenge grant from the Harris Foundation. For each gift from those under the age of 40, the foundation will match contributions dollar-for-dollar up to $5,000. Since I am 39 until the end of November, I jumped on this challenge. Please join me in showing support for RH’s free concert events by helping us raise our final $1,500 of this challenge.

– Megan Balderston

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