Thursday, January 27, 2005

It's all about the cello

cello with case and bow
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

Usually this blog is about our children so this is a deviation from the norm in that this post is all about my cello.

In a former life - I played cello - rather well it seems now - though of course I never thought I played well then. My technique has seriously deteriorated with the lack of practice in recent years.

Until recently that part of my life was literally stuck in a closet and forgotten about. Things likely would have remained in that state for a while were it not for the fact that we are moving and switching insurance companies. The new company needed a current appraisal. Now by current - they meant one done in the past year. So I set off on an investigation to find where I could get appraisals of the cello and bow. After many, many phone calls - either dead ends or the "we don't do that, try calling so and so" - I finally found the right guy at a violin shop in Vancouver. So after a phone call with him - I headed downtown late Saturday afternoon with cello and bows in tow.

The shop was not obvious - just a small sign on a door. Both the windows on the door and next to the door had closed blinds and bars. A small "OPEN" sign was on the outside of the door. Otherwise I would have though the shop to be closed.

Inside I was struck by the familiar smell of a violin shop. It was wonderful to sit and just BE there in that atmosphere; listening to the shop owner helping the previous customer - a young man who had inherited a violin and wanted to know how much it was worth.

However, unlike the shops I have been in back East, this one had some pretty tight security. Security cameras were everywhere. The work area was in the back - not visible to the public. The violins were locked in cabinets and none were out for display. More security cameras were trained on the cabinets. The walls had posters of stringed instruments and there was a rack with brochures for the symphony.

When the luthier came out, he was the real thing - apprenticed in England and very, very knowledgeable in his field. He sells, repairs and appraises instruments all the way into the professional level including for many members of the Symphony.

As he looked my cello and bows over all the while taking notes - he talked to me about people in the local classical music scene as if I knew them, or at least knew who they were. He was floored when I said I "wasn't playing". He then wanted to know if I would consider selling - as he knew of several people that would be most likely interested in buying! That was a reality check! Absolutely not! I have no plans to EVER sell the cello! But that got me to thinking - that really I ought to be playing it. The instrument deserves to be played. I left with a vow to practice again and get back to playing. What use is having an instrument that I don't play? Especially when we will be paying a pretty penny to insure it.

So I've started practicing again here and there and have e-mailed the Fraser Valley Symphony about auditioning to join the orchestra for next season. I played with them prior to getting pregnant with Melissa. I have yet to hear back from them - but it's a goal to shoot for.

No comments: