Dan   |  Friday, February 24, 2012

Life is what you make it, so make it BIG!

I have mentioned before that I am a musician. My mother introduced me to my first trumpet when I was just 10 years old, and music became a passion of mine soon after.

Practicing in my bedroom led to private lessons from accomplished musicians, including John Head, principal chair with the Atlanta Symphony. I was on my way to becoming a professional musician, but I felt God calling me elsewhere. In 1970, I let go of the idea of being a professional musician and decided to go to work with my Dad and Chick-fil-A.

But I still love to play! Over the years, I have been fortunate to play the national anthem in several major league baseball parks and at the Chick-fil-A Bowl seven different times. I've shared the stage with orchestras and it was a very special privilege to play on stage at the Hard Rock Live in Orlando with Blood, Sweat and Tears! All of those experiences were amazing, but one of my favorite musical experiences happened just last week at the Chick-fil-A Operator’s Seminar.

We invited musical prodigy, Ethan Bortnick, to come and entertain us, and boy, did he deliver! At just 10 years old, Ethan has already accomplished more than most musicians will in their entire careers! He is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Youngest Solo Musician to Headline his own Tour. Ethan is a pianist who has headlined over 100 solo shows across the world and has appeared on Oprah, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Good Morning America, and many more nationally broadcast television shows. He is also a philanthropist who has helped raise more than $30 Million for charities all over the world.

Ethan reminded us that good things sometimes come in small packages, and that life is what you make of it... so make it BIG!

Ethan played several classic songs, an original song and then talked to us about his thoughts on music, life and what success means to him. Folks, he is incredible, and he gave me the incredible privilege of joining him on stage for Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.”

I think I can get my hands on video footage to share soon, but in the meantime, check out Ethan at his website and watch the video below to catch a glimpse of his incredible talent.

Have a great Friday, everybody!

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