Music: Bringing Different Experiences Together

Gwendalyn Waggoner, Editor

Although music has always encapsulated Charlotte Boyer’s life, when starting her most recent project, she was unaware of how much a song could change someone else’s life. Boyer was first introduced to the River Music Experience through a family friend, and received a scholarship for a Blues Camp when she was only twelve years old. “Ever since that year, I became more interested in becoming a musician and learning more about the roots of music,” said Boyer. 

Along with Boyer, many other young musicians have been a part of the River Music Experience. They offer many scholarships for music lessons and various camps to give young people a creative outlet. When the entertainment director, Kate Dale, recommended the United Way project to Boyer, she was excited, as it was explained as a way to partner with other musicians in the Quad Cities, and be able to share real life stories in the form of songs. These songs were used to highlight people whose lives were impacted by the work of United Way.

Boyer’s song highlighted former Rock Island High School student, Caty Pohl, and her positive personality, despite the struggles she faces. “What stood out to me was the fact that she still managed to get through the tough times, and she managed to put a smile on her face, even when she wasn’t feeling her best,” explained Boyer. While writing the song, Boyer found the process difficult, “trying to figure how to go about creating the song in terms of the melody and how I wanted to tell her story,” Boyer said. The young songwriter felt a deep passion for this project and went back and forth between ideas in order to get the perfect creation and do the uplifting story justice. 

“Caty’s story has really made me think about how anyone could be struggling, and you just don’t know, so it’s good to be kind to everyone you meet because you never know what they’re going through,” explained Boyer. “And I have a lot of respect and love for her for staying strong and getting through it. I definitely encourage anyone who is having problems at home, or anywhere, to seek someone they feel comfortable talking to about it.” Boyer shares this story in the form of music, in hopes that someone will be able to learn from Caty’s story and find a resource through the United Way or River Music Experience.Boyer’s song written for muse, Cary Pohl, was not only beneficial to creating her own music and growing her skill set, but also serves as an important lesson to those who hear the message. Pohl’s story that was shared is not only inspiration to Boyer’s creative mind, but challenges younger people to be more open towards others, and inviting to those who might be seemingly fine, but truly be struggling. While Pohl was able to open her heart and share her story, Boyer used her resources and talents in order to create an ongoing effect of creativity and friendship.