RICHMOND, Texas — UPDATE: Thanks so much for sharing the story. We found him, though while reporting on this story, we came across more questions that we are looking into.
Alison Wood was looking for a mystery violinist. On Wednesday, the Richmond mother went to a Target Store at the Brazos Town Center, 23912 Commercial Drive in Rosenberg.
“As soon as we got out of the vehicle, I was with my son, and we could hear music playing from somewhere,” she said.
At first, Wood thought the music was coming from a vehicle in the parking lot, but as she and her son walked toward the entrance of the store, she saw a young man.
“And he had an electric violin out, and I was just mesmerized,” said Wood.
Wood, who had a holiday shopping list to work through, stopped at the entrance. She and her son listened to the man, who she thinks is in his late teens or early 20s, play three songs. “
And any time he would finish a song, my son and I would start clapping. Just letting him know that it was appreciated.”
The live music kept Wood’s attention, but it’s the message written on the man’s sign, that now has the Richmond woman searching for this mystery musician.
“It was just basically that his family was in need of help and he’s trying to help them pay for food," she said.
Wood and her son went into Target, shopped and as she was at the register, she had an idea.
“We’re always looking for entertainment for the children at my business. We run a martial arts school,” said Wood.
And so she thought she’d hire the young man to play at her local business. But by the time Wood walked out of the store, it was pouring rain. The man was gone.
On Thursday, Wood took a screenshot of the man from one of the videos she took of him playing, and posted the photo and a message to her River Park West Nextdoor page:
Looking for this young man. I was at Target in Brazos town center yesterday and really enjoyed this young man’s performance. He was raising money for his family and I would really like to hire him to play at my business. Does anyone know who he is? By the time I thought about it, he had left. Appreciate everyone’s time.
“I didn’t expect it to gain so much traction. There’s been a lot of positive comments. Unfortunately, nobody has been able to make a connection yet,” said Wood during a Zoom interview with KHOU 11 News Friday morning.
Neighbors commented that they’ve seen the same young man playing his violin outside grocery stores in the Richmond/Rosenberg area for the last few months.
“And apparently, he’s been raising money for a while," said Wood. "I believe his parents are out of work. And I think he’s just trying to help out in any way he can. Somebody said that a sign that they had seen, he was trying to help pay for rent for his family.”
“If I could give this young man an opportunity, not only to play for us, but we have a lot of families there. Maybe he can make some connections to use his music and earn a little profit,” said Wood.
She’s turned on all notifications for Nextdoor and is hopeful Houston will help her make the connection.
“I really feel that this young man was just doing what he could for his family and was really sharing his talent with us. I think all he needs is maybe like a little discovery or a little boost of confidence that he really could do something with this musical talent that he has.”