It’s 2:45 on a Tuesday afternoon. All is quiet in the small supplies office in the bottom of the Holton Center; save for the set of fluorescent lights cheerfully humming above the bearded young man seated at his desk. He is fixated on his task: a tiny violin with a fallen sound post, which he hopes to repair in short-order and place in the hands of a budding musician. He slowly seats the post and pulls back on the steel sound post setter, just as he had done countless times before, when suddenly…
SLAM! The sound of doors being thrown open pierces the silence. A distant, low rumbling in the halls draws nearer to the relative solitude of the office, finally punctuated by several sharp raps on the door.
“MR. DANIEL! MR. DANIEL! Do you have my violin?” a diminutive voice cried out.
“Of course, and don’t forget this!” he replied, handing the young musician her case. “Do you know where to go?”
“Umm… yeah. THANKS, MR. DANIEL!” she called, already bolting down the hallway to her class.
As Supplies and Stage Manager, this is a typical day on the job here at Kidznotes. With almost a decade of experience in musical instrument repair, I take pride in ensuring that our teachers and students have the tools they need to not only participate but to thrive in our program. While I usually meet the kids under less-than-ideal circumstances (Cori has a cello endpin problem. Jiovanny’s bridge fell off. Brandon’s string is broken. Class starts now!), it’s always a joy to see the smile on a child’s face when you hand them back their newly-repaired instrument.
I recently had the opportunity to hear the Beethovens play side-by-side with the UNC Charlotte Chamber Orchestra as they rehearsed the first movement Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, led by conductor Rashad Hayward. It was astonishing to see the progress that these players have made in less than a month of working with this piece! I was particularly struck by how our 1st chair cellist, Marcus, was not simply playing his part but confidently performing, paying close attention to his posture and intonation. The fact that they have been able to achieve so much in a short time frame is a testament to the hard work and determination of our students and the dedication of our faculty.
Coming up: On February 9th, 2014 the Beethoven Choir will be performing side-by-side with the Duke Chapel Choir at the Duke Chapel. Save the date!
-Daniel Nichols, Supplies and Stage Manager for Kidznotes