Requiem for a cello

As the sweet notes of Molly’s final cello recital filled Harper Hall yesterday, I leaned back in my familiar chair (aisle seat, audience left, midway up) and thought, as I had so many times in Molly’s musical career, “What a lovely tune. I’ve never heard it before.”

Like her siblings before her, Molly enjoyed playing, though not necessarily practicing, her instruments. Often, I showed up at solo ensemble competitions curious about what piece I would hear.

She once played an entire ensemble piece without a rock stop, trapping the instrument between her knees and hunching over its neck to keep it from sliding across the floor.

“I thought there’d be carpeting,” she’d shrugged.

While her laissez fair attitude confounded her teachers, it also allowed her to enjoy her musical journey. Molly rarely stressed out about performances or tests and, because she often found herself forced to do it, she became a very adept sight reader.

I once mentioned that she might like to take a piece apart, and practice each section until she played it perfectly. She seemed to consider my point carefully for a moment, but then she shook her head.

“The thing is,” she said. “I’m a human being and human beings really aren’t capable of perfection.”

Still, when her bow connected with those strings and sent that lovely, lovely cello sound through our house, I stopped whatever I was doing and listened.

I will treasure for the rest of my life the day she played her cello in the woods and coaxed a wild turkey into a duet.

We have one more concert before Molly and her cello part ways and I’m really going to miss that sweet, somewhat stubborn instrument with the long neck and the mellow sound.

I’m going to miss her cello too.

Katherine's birthday and HRB 016
Molly took up the cello in eighth grade.
Katherine's birthday and HRB 012
This pictures cracks me up. This is Molly and her two friends, Lexi and Karma, practicing in our living room for their first solo ensemble competition. They were in eighth grade and they would only play with their backs turned. 
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Molly’s last solo ensemble. She played Gavotte, which Vince and I heard for the first time that morning.
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An action shot of Molly and her friend Sid Juidici during solo ensemble last year. 
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Molly’s grandma has been to every performance, except the turkey duet.
Katherine's birthday and HRB 019
I thought you might like to see Karma, Molly and Lexi in 8th grade from the front side.
Cello on the water
Molly played the cello in a trio for a wedding two summers ago.
Molly and Roza
This is a shot of Molly from her performance yesterday.  On the piano is Roza, her extremely capable cello instructor. 
Molly and her cello in the woods
But this is my favorite picture of Molly and her cello. That sweater! Those woods! That turkey! It was a beautiful afternoon.

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