An Unexpected Visitor

You never know who might be sitting next to you!


My job is rarely mundane. At times it is a bit routine. At other times it’s quite hectic. But some of the most heightened times are right before our concerts featuring visiting musicians. I worry a lot. Will enough people come? Will the musicians come? (That is the scariest worry) Will the concert “hit its mark” artistically?

Last Sunday was no exception. I had never heard Yoojin play the violin. Trusting Rick Feit at New England Conservatory to send me their finest, I still began to worry. And then I had to pick them up at the bus stop in Nashua. Will the bus arrive on time? Will they be on it? (And I haven’t even discussed snowstorms!)

Little did I know that when Yoojin and Mana disembarked, another totally unexpected guest arrived, too, sitting quietly in the dark, invisible until 4:00 when the music began.

Yoojin and Mana played Mozart, Dvorak and Strauss with passionate energy. The audience sat in rapt attention for over an hour,  absorbing the unusually rich sounds of the violin, appreciating Yoojin and Mana’s mastery of the music. Afterwards, we all rose to our feet, asking for just a few more minutes with the music, the musicians and that glorious sound.

It was only afterwards that Yoojin revealed the identity of the third visitor to Hancock- “Rainville”, her 1697 Stradivarius violin. Actually, it wasn’t hers, it was on loan to her after winning the prestigious Munetsugu competition.

“May I hold it?” were the first words out of my mouth and indeed, I held it… reverently. I couldn’t have been more thrilled than if someone pointed out the Mona Lisa hanging on the back wall!

The bell in the steeple rang. I looked up and thought “Paul Revere, meet Antonio Stradivari, 100 years your elder.” What a wonderful introduction to make on a cold November afternoon!