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EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE: Street musician brightens downtown with smooth sounds

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- As the sun sinks down over downtown Wilmington, sweet sounds swing up and down Front Street. At the mouthpiece is saxophonist Glen McRae.

"It’s about joy, gets the mess out of the world sometimes," McRae said.

McRae takes his place on the street stage every day, collecting tips from passersby who may be out shopping or to get a bite to eat. But while many may hear his bright tones, what they may never hear is his past near-fatal battle with alcoholism.

"Every place I played at up and down the coast, the beer and the drinks are on the house," McRae said.

McRae has been sober now for nearly six years now. He attributes his decision for change to his faith in God.

"I just prayed about everything and realized if I kept going the way I was going, I probably would have drank myself to death."

The 51-year-old is even enrolled at Cape Fear Community College as a Music major and member of the jazz ensemble.

"I want to show people I'm out here and that I’m able to play and function without a drink," McRae said.

This music man is hopeful that his sweet sounds encourage others with similar struggles to know they too can rewrite their story.

If you have an extraordinary person you'd like to see featured, send Cacky an email at ccatlett@wwaytv3.com.

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street musician

Thank you for this feature. May Mr. McRae continue on his upward trajectory. And if he has children, may he take good care of them.