Zach Plays His Beloved Sax Outside Greenbelt Metro

A mixed crowd both ignored and welcomed Zach as he filled the air outside the station with harmonious notes.

Dancing, sonorous sounds emanated from Zach the musician's saxophone on Monday, hanging in the sky, like children calling to play. A few commuters softened, some smiled, while many filed by seemingly oblivious to him and his music.

Zach played on undaunted in his spotless white shirt with a picture of President Obama and the American flag on the back.

Nearby a rumpled man sat slumped, asking passengers if they could spare a penny.

Zach had a hat on the ground, but did not voice a request. Instead he stood, sax in hand, and commanded the sky to drip with melody.

Foregoing tips, he stopped for a moment to share his love story. He first learned to play the saxophone in 5th grade at Cove City Elementary in New Bern, North Carolina. Throughout high school he continued learning and cultivating his skill.

Zach said he plays the saxophone because it is a God-given talent and he has a passion for it. He and the sax have been together going on 45 years, and for about four of them Zach has been sharing his music with metro riders.

He makes it out to Greenbelt about twice a month, but said he plays at the New Carrollton station, where he is well known, Tuesday and Friday mornings.

After sharing his story, a new group of passengers had departed their train, so Zach went back to his serenade. As sounds of "Blessed Assurance," twirled around him, amongst a sea of disinterested heads, one would suddenly turn and smile, and drop a few wrinkles.

George D. Patrin February 25, 2013 at 06:50 PM
I met Zach, the sax player, in the winter of 2009 at the Shady Grove Metro Station. He played as though he were my lost son, Andrew, when I was at my lowest point of depression during that first Christmas without Andrew. Zach was playing "The Little Drummer Boy" as snow flakes fell. I had the clear sense it was Andrew calling, telling me he was still doing things his way, at peace...through Zach. A second time, near Easter, I tried to avoid Zach, but came face-to-face with earth's angels again in the Metro. Turning back to see if he was looking at me, Zach played Amazing Grace. I, an Army COL, saluted him, and began my grief healing in earnest. Zach and his wife, a wonderful DC school teacher, became friends and dined with us in our home. They continue to call and inquire as to how we are doing. Take time to slow down, stop, and listen to his impassioned playing. The message is for you. Thanks Zach, my friend.


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