Homeless Man Plays Piano Beautifully in Sarasota, FL

Posted by Yoke Wong on 7/26/2015 to Inspirational Stories

Donald “Boone” Gould became an overnight viral sensation, thanks to a YouTube video of him playing the piano at Clasico Sarasota in Sarasota, FL. Since early 2015, Donald has been an integral part of the scene at Clasico, and regulars look forward to seeing him play his original arrangements on the gorgeous Clasico piano daily. He collects tips in his baseball cap while he plays. The YouTube video features Donald playing his original version of “Come Sail Away” by Styx. Published in late June 2015, currently it has over 11.5 million hits.

Donald is a very skilled piano player, delivering his original arrangements with a high level of technical skill as well as a lot of emotion. You can really hear his love of music in his playing. As evidenced by the number of hits on his video, many people are blown away when they witness this level of piano playing, particularly from a homeless man. His playing sparks people's curiosity about his background and leaves them wanting to hear more of his beautiful tunes.

Donald is a former Marine who lost his wife tragically and is searching for his 18 year old son. He is a very talented musician with an extensive musical background. He was a drum major in high school, played clarinet in the Marine Corps band, and traveled all over the world with a symphonic band. After he got out of the Marine Corps, he took off a few years before deciding to go to school and pursue a degree in music.

Just a few classes short of a music theory degree, Donald can play a wide range of musical instruments from the piccolo to the tuba and is comfortable learning new music with or without written notes. Donald lost his last job when the economy fell apart and has been homeless off and on for the past six or seven years. Among other things, he dreams of finishing his degree and teaching music. Donald has a construction background and could pursue a career in the construction industry, but he would rather be teaching music.

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jacqueline weaver
Date: 7/27/2015
Donald u play beautiful. The best of everything to u.may god bless u.
Date: 7/27/2015
Date: 7/27/2015
Betty Wilson
Date: 7/27/2015
Donald, that was beautiful. i really love to hear you play. I am sure there are many people that are only a paycheck away from being homeless. I pray God will send you the help you need so that you can complete your music degree and teach music.
E. R. Engdahl
Date: 7/27/2015
What a great heart touching story ,, thank you for sharing it with us. Music is a wonderful medium to work with. Thank your for your work in sharing teaching and sharing learning music. You have been a joy to me - and certainly -countless others - in the world of music. God bless you and your life of giving.
Guillermo Eduardo Sanchez Cardenas
Date: 7/27/2015
God bless these man I have never hear some thing like these I can not play the piano like him that is something really extraordinary.
Margaret Graham
Date: 7/27/2015
Date: 7/27/2015
Lovely Improvisation! :-)
Marlene Brilz
Date: 7/27/2015
Truly, an inspiration. I hope you can get help and then teach music as your are definately talented enough. God Bless.
Cricket Cohen
Date: 7/27/2015
Life stories like Donald's amaze me! God gives us strength!
Gretchen Zinna
Date: 7/27/2015
It is truly amazing how people who have done so much and then lose loved ones and they are truly trying to find purpose. May the Good Lord bless everything you do for His purpose and I pray for you that HE restores unto you everything and more that you have lost. Find your son, better job and most of all peace in your soul as God takes you one step at a time and restores what the enemy has taken from you. Please hang in there and taste and see that the Lord is Good and HE loves you very much my dear friend. I play and am so loved by the emotion and skill that can only come from God.
val gill
Date: 7/27/2015
Donald what beautiful music .I wish you God's richest blessings. Please continue to play , and may God help you to find your son.
Ian Shedden
Date: 7/28/2015
The strange thing about this man's misfortune, is that he has brought abundance of joy to many many people by playing on the street. If he was playing in an orchestra or teaching somewhere no- one would give him a second glance as you wouldn't get to hear him. It's a joy to hear him play and I'm sure that he will get his just reward in life. My good wishes for giving me and others the pleasure of your ubundant skills. The big picture springs to mind!!!
Date: 8/10/2015
Great snow donlt matter to him piano with in heart feeling
Bongani Khonjwayo
Date: 1/8/2016
I just cannot think as to what God had in mind when he decided to provide humanity with people such as a homeless man playing such melodious music for people who will sleep in nice cozy bedrooms thinking about the mesmerizing music they heard from a man who at that time will be labour in for some sleep, if at all, under some tree or bridge. Even though, bless this lovely piano player!

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