On June 18, two strangers hugged in Walmart’s produce section. Elizabeth Crawford, a music professor at BYU-Idaho, accepted a hug after a man complimented her bassoon performance during the Walk Festival Hall in Jackson, Wyoming. He explained that her work moved his fiancee to tears, and he found the performance beautiful.
“That’s what I love about music, connecting with people,” Crawford said.
Crawford grew up surrounded by the positive effects of music. The piano in her childhood home sat in the center of her house. Independently of where she stood, it echoed through the house. She often fell asleep while her mother strolled the keyboard. Crawford learned how to play it while very young, but it was in sixth grade that she discovered her future aspirations, the bassoon.
She moved to Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan for her final year of high school to pursue an education as a bassoonist.
At school, Crawford spent anywhere from five to eight hours a day practicing her instrument. While the number of hours is not as high today, the practice remains imperative to keep her talent.
“I have no healthy boundaries between music and my personal life,” Crawford said. “But my life is all about the days and weeks and months and years of aligning myself to a demanding discipline and finding joy in it.”
Crawford retained the joy music brought in her youth and continues to share it with many people. She recently started The Ladies’ Reeding Society, a nonprofit society dedicated to creating a community of female musicians who give back to the community through music.
“Everyone wants to do something more, something big,” Crawford said. “Everyone wants to make the world a better place, and I think for many years, I struggled saying ‘I’m a bassoonist, what am I doing for the world?’ But this is my world. If I can create something beautiful in my little area, I’m making the world a better place.”