At Ida Culver House-Ravenna: A small well-dressed woman waited until after the show and I was alone to approach me. She then shared that when she was a child she would play at the feet of her brother, a violinist, as he rehearsed classical chamber music with his friends. Our performance that day had brought it all back. She began to cry because she hadn’t thought of that memory for many, many years.
At Silverado Senior Living: At our second performance here, one woman in a wheel chair, her hands wrapped in bandages, and with seemingly no communication skills, was rolled up to the front of the audience right next to me. During the first piece I heard this sort of groaning and became worried that she was in pain. I looked at her and she seemed fine. When we stopped, she stopped her sounds. When we started playing again, she started her sounds again. I realized that she was singing!! I was so happy. After the show I went up to her and made eye contact and asked if she had enjoyed the show—She looked at me, eyes brightening, and nodded yes enthusiastically.
After that same performance I was treated to a very special moment. One of the residents, Maggie, was a pianist. The care giver had talked about what a wonderful pianist she was during both our shows there. We encouraged her to come on up and try out the harpsichord. She of course demurred and said, “oh, no—I’m not good enough”. After the second show, I followed her and the care giver out of the room. They went to a piano and he asked her to play for him—he said he loved “Amazing Grace.” Maggie said she didn’t know that one but fooled around on the keyboard, picking out the tune and trying different harmonies-sounding not so great-she stopped and then started playing the hymn in full harmony, flourishes, modulations—I couldn’t believe my ears—it was so beautiful. I was in tears by the end.
At Prestige Care: At our first performance here, I was handing out programs and greeting the residents as they came in. One petite woman in sweats in a wheel chair declined the program. I said “oh, are you going to stay for the show?” and she shook her head no, never looking at me. Well, she did stay, and after the show as she was being wheeled out I looked at her and she smiled at me and waved.
When we returned for a second performance, there she was again, but this time she enthusiastically grabbed the program. At the end, we were all talking and kidding around. I complimented her on her lovely purple outfit—she got a twinkle in her eye and said “you can’t have it!!” We all started to laugh.
At Ida Culver House-Broadview: We met an amazing couple here. They met and were married in their mid-eighties and had both just turned 101!!! I couldn’t believe it. Shows me how I must change my idea of what “old” means.
At that same performance a gentleman came up and really wanted to chat before the show. He said he was a violinist and also a maker of violins. During the show he sat near the front and enthusiastically applauded every piece. After the show, he came and talked with me some more. I let him hold my Amati and encouraged him to try it out. He was thrilled and played just a couple notes. A friend of my Mother’s lives there at Ida Culver and was present at the concert. She later told my Mom that this gentleman couldn’t stop talking about our concert and of holding my violin for many days after. —Linda Melsted