Creative Center

Music for the Soul

Betty Beem 08/24/2016

This summer I was able to precipitate in an ensemble workshop in Denver. Why is this so amazing? I had played the violin for many years before moving to a city that lacked an active classical music community. Years were spent raising children and pursuing a teaching career. Until MS raised it ugly head. After an early retirement due to progressing MS, I moved to a city that provided incredible opportunities for amateurs musicians. In spite of numbness down both arms and spasticity and with the guidance of several gifted violin teachers, I have been able to relearn to play the violin. I moved from last chair, second violin, to concert master of a local community college string orchestra. Gradually, I began playing at my church. Then came the move to a community orchestra that performs the great orchestral works. This summer I had the opportunity to attend a workshop for ensemble music. Specific skills are needed to play solo pieces, orchestral works, and ensemble pieces. It had been over 50 years since I’d seriously played ensemble music. I was in a panic. I read everything I could get my hands on string ensembles. After 3 rehearsals, I was a member of a group that performed a Mozart quintet. At the conclusion of the workshop I was first violinist in groups that performed Mendelssohn and de Boismortier quartets.

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