Pay It Forward—Aquarium Style


This article was written by Suzanne Boyle and originally appeared in the August issue of "Making Waves", published by The National Aquarium in Baltimore.


It all began at a charity function with a gesture of goodwill by Board Member Mary Graul and her husband, Harold. The event offered a silent auction item of an original composition of music by Greg Pierce, an award winning producer and composer. Mary and Harold, realizing that the Aquarium was creating a new exhibit, wondered whether music would enhance the visitor experience. Several bids later, the Grauls were the proud owners of a yet to be composed work. Shortly thereafter, the Grauls donated the anticipated piece of work to the National Aquarium for its new Jellies’ exhibit.


Today, visitors agree that the Jellies Invasion: Oceans Out of Balance exhibit has been greatly enhanced by "Off—Axis: Music for The Jellies" for the exhibit, the composition created by Mr. Pierce. Indeed, in creating the soundtrack for the exhibit, Mr. Pierce realized that the wonder of the "other universe" under the oceans has been a powerful influence on his body of work. The resulting CD, Sea Notes, captures the wonder of and appreciation for the universe under the majestic oceans.


In the meantime, Mary continues her involvement at the Aquarium, offering to lead the efforts of a newly created endeavor to provide free access to the wounded military and the terminally ill. Mary welcomed the involvement of her friend, Suzanne Amos, who quickly embraced the fund’s initiative as did another friend of the Aquarium, Joanne Larson. In a typical example of the six degrees of separation of Baltimore, Suzanne identified composer Pierce as a personal friend and approached him to explain the project on which she was working.


In a generous gesture, Greg Pierce offered to donate $5 from every sale of the Sea Notes CD to the Aquarium’s efforts. What a wonderful circle of giving! The National Aquarium is grateful to all involved. Sea Notes is offered online at


Additionally, Mr. Pierce’s photographer friend, David Simpson, created a memorable Jellies poster which is also available for sale.