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.