Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

[friday]

August 16, 2013

Live the story: Music in the mind of Gary Rhum

Kokomo —

 

At 3:30 p.m. on a Tuesday I received a message from my boyfriend, “Hey, I have a crazy thought.” John Mayer was performing in Cincinnati that night and the show wasn’t sold out – sidenote: Don’t judge if you haven’t listened to him since “Your Body Is A Wonderland.” We finished our work days and were in Cincinnati in time to miss the opening act, but in time for the songs that often whistled in the background of many of our moments. The spontaneity of our decision spurred a second in time that reminded us:  Your life is alive; experience it. But, at the roots of it, music inspired the impromptu road trip.

No one knows that inspiration of music better than Gary Rhum, owner of Rhum Academy of Music. He’s traveled with bands, taught young kids with a song in their little souls (since 1973) and he’s lived the majority of his life with his hands gripping the neck of a guitar.

I met him doing just that. There, in one of his musical classrooms, Rhum relaxed over his guitar as his jean-clad legs crossed for his right foot to rest and gently tap his left. No music was playing.

I asked Rhum as he relaxed in his element: Musically speaking, what does Kokomo sound like?

Then, the answer came; in the form of a melody.

“You ask a specific question,” Rhum said as he spun around to his guitar line up for a different musical companion. “’Catching The Light,’” Rhum said as his strumming fingers created a sound that truly answered the question.

Moments later the breezy melody laced with calm beauty was complete.

“It’s just beautiful; to see everything [in Kokomo] come to life,” Rhum, an advocate for community concerts, parks and the arts, said. “We’re coming together as a community, we’re smiling together, listening to music together [at Kokomo Summer Concert Series]. We’re catching the light.”

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