PHILLIPSBURG, N.J. — He’s inspired by Stevie Wonder, and his favorite song is “I believe I can fly.”
But others are inspired by him.
All you have to do is see 10-year-old Jahmir Wallace in concert to know why.
Inside Green Street Elementary School in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, it’s time for the fifth grade winter concert.
“I can’t wait to see it today,” said school nurse, Melissa Lilly.
Administrators are excited to see all 40 students, they also know the hard work it took for 10-year-old Jahmir Wallace to play the trumpet.
“My older sister used to play the piano,” added Wallace. “So I thought maybe I should try an instrument. I thought maybe I could try and figure out new things.”
“Everybody who knew him said if Jahmir wants to play the trumpet,” added music teacher, Desiree Kratzer, “we want him to play the trumpet.”
Wallace was born without any arms.
He does everything with his feet, including playing the trumpet — something he has wanted to do since the third grade. He still remembers his first note, four months ago.
“I kind of felt excited,” said Wallace. “I kind of felt like, oh man this is kind of comfortable and it kind of felt like this might be the one for me.”
Administrators and employees of a local music store helped make a special stand to hold the horn and Jahmir took it from there.
“To see how he moves his toes like we move our fingers,” said Raffaele LaForgia, principal of Green Street Elementary. “It’s amazing.”
Everyone that knows Jahmir says he wants to be treated like every other student. But Jahmir knows what it took to give him this opportunity, and how important his teacher Desiree Kratzer is.
“Very important because if it wasn’t for her I would never know what the trumpet was,” added Wallace.
His favorite song in the concert is “Go tell Aunt Rhodie.”
He also has a special message for anyone watching.
“Anybody out there that would like to try an instrument, go ahead and try it,” said Wallace. “You never know, if you like it, you like it, if you don’t, you don’t. Keep on trying.”
With encouraging words like that, people know Jahmir Wallace will be inspiring many others for years to come.