The final concert of our residency for Quad City Arts was fantastically beautiful! They had set up a stage with attractive lighting in a ballroom at Augustana College in Rock Island. The seating was arranged cabaret-style, around large tables, with beverages for purchase at the bar. Although the large, carpeted room would have sucked the life out of our sound, the engineer, Lars, handled the amplification so well, he managed to make it sound lovely and resonant. So we were in very good spirits as we approached the event. This was further supported by the very fine, fresh, flavorful, well-prepared and -presented dinner, served to us by Amy, before the show.
The gold inside a residency is the opportunity for deeper human connection. We discovered a plethora of acquaintances during the week, friends, colleagues and family, met people who had followed our work for years, and received loving testimonials to the joy we have shared. I will offer just one: Steve Mohr approached me after the concert with intense feeling in his eyes. He wanted me to really understand how much it meant to him, a father sharing custody of two small children, to have found a strong connection to his daughter, in Kindergarten at Franklin Elementary, through her experience of our presentation there, earlier in the week. He assured me earnestly, that she doesn’t normally relate much about her days at school, but that evening, had opened up about the lady who came to school with the big violin! He knows about ETHEL, knew we were in town, and pieced together that it might be us – “Was it a cello? Was there a string quartet? Were they called, ETHEL?” She apparently opened up more and more excitedly and they shared warm enthusiasm about it, finally declaring that her favorite pieces were “Eleanor Rigby” and “Watermelon Man”…
There is no concrete way of measuring the emotional value of Music, but Steve used great personal energy to communicate his gratitude for the moment we had facilitated between him and his daughter . No reward matters more. Thanks, Steve!
By Dorothy Lawson (cello) of ETHEL