“I had been thinking of writing a voting song when one night I woke up with a tune in my head. I went to the piano and wrote it down. The words started to come to me, and after a couple of days, I had those also.”
As a professional jazz pianist, William “Billy” Foster’s passion for music gave him a big life. He was an elementary school teacher for 35 years, a university jazz instructor, hosted music radio programs, and led jazz bands for many years playing a variety of venues, including the KCA’s International Kidney Cancer Symposiums.
His music was a source of pleasure and focus even through kidney cancer, which he was first diagnosed with in 1996. Since then, Foster has spoken about his experience several times and helped raise awareness about the challenges people with kidney cancer face.
But ahead of the 2020 Presidential election, Billy’s passion turned to a different kind of awareness.
“As I watch television and see all of the unrest happening not only in our country but across the world, I think to myself, things should and could be better,” he said. “We have in our country the means by which we can make that happen. It’s called voting.”
Billy and his wife Renee Miles-Foster, a fellow musician, collaborated to make the tune in his head a reality – their “Vote Song”.
“With the social unrest, COVID-19, fires, and hurricanes in the country today, we need a government that cares for its people,” Billy said. “Voting is the way to do that, and these are the reasons I wrote this song.”