OC man, 98, shares his passion for music with younger generations

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Friday, December 27, 2019
OC violinist, 98, shares passion for music with younger generations
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Morris Chaban shares the gift of music with younger generations by playing the violin his mother gave him back in 1930.

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif. (KABC) -- At 98 years old, Morris Chaban still plays the violin his mother gave him back in 1930.

"She bought it for me when I was about 9. Maybe between 9 and 10. And for $25," Chaban said.

The first song he ever played was an Italian one. But to his mom, that wasn't very impressive.

"My mother, who didn't understand anything but Jewish music, she says 'What's that?' And I said, it's my piece. She said, that's not music!" Chaban recalled.

Decades later, the violin is one of his most sentimental possessions.

"It's very dear to me because of the history. I choke up," he said. My mother... she got it for me."

Morris knows she'd be proud as he continues his passion. And this year's a special one, as he celebrates 20 years performing in his stepdaughter's Christmas program at Foothill Ranch Elementary. It's a commitment he takes seriously.

"It's really neat to see that over the years, he has a place to share what he loves and something that kind of helps his mom live on a little bit and the kids just love it," said Melanie Petrone, Morris' stepdaughter.

Chaban said he feels flattered when people say they enjoyed his music.

His mother would enjoy it, too. The song he plays shows how people all over the world celebrate Hanukkah.