On June 1, 2012, Skidmore College alumnus David Baker, a 2008 graduate and Bandersnatcher, performed Les Miserables' "Bring Him Home" and Puccini's "Nessun Dorma" in memory of Aaron Cohen at the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra (WHSO)'s free outdoor concert held at Kingswood Oxford School.
A 1997 graduate of Skidmore College, 2012 marks Aaron's fifteen-year Skidmore reunion. While Aaron's classmates were back in Saratoga Springs for Reunion weekend, a WHSO Board of Director member that graduated with Aaron, and who loved him dearly, covered the concert. It is of particular note that WHSO Music Director Richard Chiarappa is a Skidmore parent of Emily, class of '98.
In the end these connections were too strong to be ignored, and the decision was made to celebrate Aaron's memory with some of the most impressive music ever written.
On February 16, 2012, we suffered a staggering loss. I say "we" because if you are reading this you most likely knew Aaron, and you understand the futility of finding any words to convey the true measure of this man, of his grace and compassion, his dedication to his family, and the far-reaching scope of his integrity. Knowing Aaron was to know that, despite how little sense this world makes at times, it just cannot be that bad with people like Aaron in it.
For those that did not know Aaron personally, consider the best person you know. Be it a friend, family member or mentor, everyone has at least one person that they feel embodies the best aspects of the human condition. Somebody that not only sees but ferrets out our best qualities despite a sometimes miserable frailty, and who can keep you going by the virtue of their exceptional example.
For a lot of us, this person was Aaron. He is desperately missed.