Michael Raymond – Instrumental progression

Fortunately for all of us folks, South Philly is teeming with precocious youths. Primarily thanks to his musical acumen, 14-year-old Michael Raymond resonates as one such paragon of productivity, with proficiency in drums, guitar, harmonica, piano, and saxophone proving his profound gifts.

The product of St. Monica School, 16th and Porter streets, used his instrument-heavy talent and altruistic nature last month to assist the School of Rock’s involvement in BrainFest, a measure to raise funds, with $5,000 coming from this year’s celebration, and awareness for brain cancer research. Coupled with participation in a cerebral palsy benefit, that endeavor has given the resident of the 700 block of Mollbore Terrace complements to his volunteer connections to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Red Cross Blood Drive, and the Schuylkill Animal Rescue.

“As St. Monica School is the ‘Pride of South Philly,’ I would like you to recognize one of our students who shines,” nominator Sister Regina Matulka said of the Marconi East dweller, adding his academic prowess as a Junior National Honor Society member and scholarship winner to Roman Catholic High School. Once he heads to the Center City-based secondary institution, one suspects he will continue to strike striking chords and to promote giving of onself as something that provides more joy than experiencing a longed-for encore. – Joseph Myers