Here's What Happened When Two Complete Strangers Started Playing Music Together at the Mall


Music is known as the universal language for a reason — with a few melodic phrases, people can communicate without words in a way that speaks to the soul.

Musicians James Starr and Symphony Reaves had never met.

But their paths crossed at a mall in Gastonia, North Carolina, which led to an impromptu jam session so lovely it has reached hearts across the country.

Starr is a pianist who stopped by Eastridge Mall to visit the DMV. On his way, he noticed a young woman sitting beside a piano, holding a saxophone.

Video: Mitt Romney Finally Admits Where His Real Allegiance Has Been the Whole Time

The saxophonist was Reaves, who is employed in the mall at Bath and Body Works.

Reaves told WCNC-TV that she typically brings her saxophone with her to work to play for tips before and after her shift.

“I try to make a little extra tip money because it helps — a lot,” Reaves said.

When Starr saw Reaves at the piano, the musician inside him simply had to stop to say hello.

Before long, the two had connected over their love for music and decided to try and play something together, on the spot, unrehearsed.

The result was holiday magic, which captured the attention of Cassandra Christian, who heard the duo and began to record.

In the midst of the busy, noisy, mall, Chrisitan said the music made her stand still.

“I heard the beautiful music and it made me stop and take it all in,” she said.

WH Reporter Chews Up 69 Seconds Letting Everyone Know She's Friends with Stevie Wonder

“They finished their first song,” Christian said, “and I asked them ‘how long have you been doing this?’ And that’s when I learned they were complete strangers.”

Online viewers have been moved by the lovely duet, some believing the moment was more than just a coincidence, rather, it was orchestrated by God.

Starr and Reaves never imagine their impromptu session would reach the ears of so many admirers but are thrilled that it has.

If their music can brighten somebody’s Christmas season, then the more people who hear it, the merrier.

“It was a feeling you can’t really explain,” Starr said. “Two sources that come together perfectly and we just made that sound and it was just perfect.”

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
Page, Arizona
Bachelor of Science in Music Education
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Lifestyle & Human Interest