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Presidential inauguration features boy who played trumpet to inspire health care workers

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DECATUR – A sixth grader who sought to bring “happiness and hope” to health care workers by playing his trumpet outside Emory Decatur Hospital is being featured as part of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Jason Zgonc, from Decatur, Georgia, was selected out of many participants around the country to perform as a part of the Jan. 20 inauguration. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many inauguration activities are being held virtually and Jason’s feature may be viewed during the parade. During the segment, Jason performs “God Bless America” at Emory Decatur Hospital with health care workers watching in the background.

Over the summer, Jason shared his talent playing the trumpet to thank hospital staff impacted by the pandemic. For 100 days, except during stormy or severe weather, the 12-year-old performed outside of the hospital. Jason began his tribute by playing “Over the Rainbow” and slowly added to his playlist with other movie theme songs and classical music. 

Jason and his mother, Karen Zgonc, say his experience not only supported health care workers, but helped him improve as a young and aspiring musician.

“I made the decision to perform at Emory Decatur Hospital to bring happiness and hope to the health care workers who are working so hard because of the coronavirus,” says Jason Zgonc.  

Edna Brisco, assistant chief nursing officer for Emory Decatur Hospital, is among those who felt encouraged by the performances. “I love the quote that says ‘music is food for the soul,’” Brisco says. “Jason has fed our souls for over 100 days. He has inspired us, he brought smiles to our faces and he supported us throughout our shifts. We cannot thank him enough for being here for us.”

Jason is a member of the Georgia All-State Band and a semi-finalist in the National Trumpet Competition. Music runs in his family as his mother owns ZTunes Music in Atlanta and his father is a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. 

“We are so very proud of Jason’s commitment last year to bring a little bit of joy at the beginning or end of a long and intense shift for the health care workers at Emory Decatur Hospital,” says Karen Zgonc.

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