When Dr. Charles Maguire is in his element, his back is to a large crowd.  His attention is towards the collection of talented musicians and the notes they play.

Maguire is a local music teacher, conductor of the Desert Winds Ensemble and member of the Making Music Matter Foundation.

“Music is the thing that connects all of us,” said Dr. Maguire, “It puts us back in contact with the thing that makes us human.”

The Making Music Matter Foundation funds the Desert Winds, Chambers and Honor Winds ensembles.  It also pays for young musician scholarships and holds a music camp every summer for 300 children.

Maguire is deeply involved in the organization.  It involves conducting and teaching, but it also involves listening and, above all, caring.

He recalled a recent compliment he gave to one of his players that turned out to be the perfect note.

“(I said) your playing is absolutely amazing.  Thank you so much for that.  Then I found out the kid wanted to attempt suicide.

“I did not do well for weeks,” continued Maguire, “I think it’s important that we remind people they’re importantly constantly, and we let people know how we feel about them.”

For Maguire, it’s proof music really does matter.

“This happens in the Clark County School District,” said Maguire, “We have students that are dealing with incredible burdens at home and the music making process allows them to connect back to humanity.”

Maguire was recently nominated for an Acts of Kindness award of $800.