I have no memory of how it started.
Somehow, in 5th grade I started to play the violin.
|I know. You’re jealous of my awesome dress.|
Thus started what is (so far, at least) a lifelong love affair. I played all throughout middle school and high school, and joined the University Symphony Orchestra my freshman year at GW, completely accidentally. I hadn’t even been planning to bring my violin to college, but my mother persuaded me to do so, and in that first week when I was extremely homesick I decided that joining an orchestra would be a good distraction from my misery.
Unfortunately, due to increasing academic and professional responsibilities, I wasn’t able to continue with the GWUSO. I continued to practice on my own, but a little half-heartedly; it’s frankly just more fun for me to play in a group.
|Then I get to do things like this!|
And so I decided once I became a grown-up I would join a community orchestra, wherever I was living, with fellow amateur musicians with day jobs who just like playing. I even researched orchestras in Boston, assuming that was where I would end up.
But you know how the story goes… I moved to London instead. And then decided to travel for a bit afterwards. And so I figured I would have to shelve my community orchestra plans for a year.
Life has a funny way of changing your plans, doesn’t it? Just two days after arrival in London, I was enjoying the sun with some of our UK co-workers when one asked the other how “the orchestra preparation” was going. My ears perked up and I immediately butted in: “Wait, are you in an orchestra?!”
Imagine my delight when I discovered that YES, my new co-worker is the CONDUCTOR of a community orchestra that recruits students, professionals, and neighbors to join! Joining was as easy as me saying, “So can I join? And where can I rent a violin?” Seriously, this dude didn’t even want to know how long I have been playing, my skill level, anything. The fact that I can pull the bow across the strings in a semi-straight fashion is good enough.
|Unfortunately my Ole Faithful violin is still Stateside. Don’t tell him I’ve hired out another violin to fill the void.|
It may sound cheesy, but I’ve learned since then to always be open to new opportunities. In the middle of the craziness that is moving to a new city, starting a new job, and building a support system, having the opportunity to slip back into something that is so me is invaluable. The first time I held my rented violin (the hiring of which was itself a fiasco) I was just so happy, playing those scales. With a violin in hand, Kristen in London is the same as Kristen in Chesapeake.
The concert is tonight. I’m excited! (Also, I am REALLY out of violin-playing shape. Ouch!)