Last Concert: Students Honor Violin Teacher Dying From Cancer

PHOTO A violin professor at Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla. Thomas Moore, has Stage IV kidney cancer and is expected to live just a few more weeks.
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He's taught and performed alongside as many as 2,000 students in a career that has spanned more than 50 years.

But on Thursday, the roles were reversed, as the students gave back to the teacher who they say taught them so much.

"He became like a second father to me," said Jorge Saade.

A violin professor at Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla., Thomas Moore has stage IV kidney cancer and is expected to live just a few more weeks.

"The reality is....that I will be dead in a matter of days," Moore told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper.

The news prompted current and former students, some now professional musicians, to organize a concert in his honor.

Moore's career includes serving as the Florida Philharmonic concertmaster, creating a chamber music festival in North Carolina and performing in concerts around the world, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

The initial plan was to pay tribute to Moore after he passed on, but Moore's wife didn't think that was a good idea.

"I said no, that's no good," Sandra Walsh, Moore's wife, told the Sun-Sentinel. "I thought, 'Why don't we honor him in a way that he can enjoy, that he can hopefully take part in?' ''

Tribute to Violin Teacher Thomas Moore

More than 200 family and friends gathered at the First Presbyterian Church of Miami on Thursday, which was also Moore's 72nd birthday.

One by one, his students took the stage to perform for their professor one last time, as he watched from the front row.

"I haven't played for him in 15 years, so this was like an exam for me," Saade said.

Rachel Ostler, who studied under Moore since she was 12, made the journey from Utah. She said she didn't want to miss the opportunity to honor him before he passed.

"I don't know if this will be the last time I perform for him, so I just really wanted to be here," said Ostler.

While it was billed as Moore's final concert, his students say it was mainly a night to celebrate a man who inspired them.

"He's been a great mentor and someone I can call up all the time and tell how I'm doing. He gives me advice on life," said Chloe Fedor.

After their performance, the students each rushed to Moore, shaking his hand and hugging him.

"To have these kids and to have been able to work with them and to bring this talent along is a privilege," Moore told ABC News. "I'm very proud of them."

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