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Heather Broadbent

My Forgotten Violin Stories - feel free to share yours:)

November 5, 2012 at 2:38 AM

My first unforgettable forgettable incident can be a forgiveable one. I was in fourth grade and had just started the violin. If you have read my other blog posts about me you know that I was dying to start the violin since the age of three but my parents didn't know where I can start the violin so young so they started me on piano. I am sure you can imagine by the time I was nine I was chomping at the bit to start violin through the public school system. I clearly remember my first rented violin, the case, the rosin and the smell of the violin varnish. It was my prized possession so I know you can also understand the devestation that I experienced when I left my violin on the bus one day after school. I am sure I had to have had a bad day at school or I was just in a hurry to get off the bus (I didn't like my bus at all) whatever the reason it was completely forgotten about when I came home and realized I didn't have my violin. My parents called the bus station and that night my dad and I took a trip to the bus station to retrieve the violin. I was a nervous little wreck:( So I would say that was a forgiveable incident. I was young - who can be so hard on a very sensitive nine year old girl.

The next unforgettable forgettable incident occurred in Bulgaria. I was staying with my Bulgarian family and the day of my departure I get in the taxi with my good colleague and friend Kamen Petkov and as we start on our way I turn to him and say the dreaded words "I forgot my violin." This was no problem at all - we just go back to the house, we weren't that far away, and Kamen tells his father who then goes into the house and retrieves the violin. I will never forget how proud he was walking out of the house with the violin on his shoulder:) I personally could not go into the house to get the violin because it is Bulgarian departure tradition to pour water in the path of the guest who is leaving for safe travels. Once you have walked over this water you can not return to the house until your next visit or it is bad luck.

My final (hopefully the final) unforgettable forgettable incident, I was travelling by train to Springfield, Illinois to play with the Illinois Symphony. This was shortly after I acquired my new light Bam case. I put the violin on the overhead in the train. I get off at my stop in Springfield and use the bathroom at the train station. I realize that I left my violin on the train. I was sweating bullets this time. There is no stopping a train. I go to the window at the train station and tell them what happened. The man was very nonchalant and took his time to try and find the phone numbers of a conductor. It took him forever. I was seriously ready to be ill. I tried to explain to him how important this was and he told me they retrieve every forgotten item - dentures, prosthetics, etc. For some reason this was not reassuring to me in the least. Finally he was able to get a hold of someone and arranged for the violin to be transferred at the next stop to the train heading north back to Springfield. I made it to rehearsal and used Kamen Petkov's violin. That rehearsal we were rehearsing John Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine. All I could hear throughout the rehearsal of the Adams was the sound of a train going down the tracks with my violin and without me. Luckily the violin exchange between conductors occurred flawlessly at the next stop and I was able to get my violin back in time for the second rehearsal of the day. I was about ready to hug the man who returned the violin to me. I have no desire to ever live that moment or any other moment resembling that moment ever again.
Now whenever I travel on the train I always leave the strap hanging over the edge of the overhead in constant view:)
Happy Practicing!!!

Heather Broadbent

From George Mitrou
Posted on November 5, 2012 at 6:32 AM
My god!! If I were in your shoes I would totally feel the same in those situations! O_O
From Corwin Slack
Posted on November 5, 2012 at 4:18 PM
Left my first full size violin with a beautiful one piece back in the washroom of my high school. Never saw it again.
From Patrick Tinney
Posted on November 6, 2012 at 4:03 AM
One of the biggest near fiascos I had to deal with was couple of decades ago leading a would be children’s choir. Due to a lack of knowledge and an unwillingness to listen on the part of the Head of Religious Education the choir became a cherub choir because of frustration on the part of the older children. It was a small choir; five, six and seven year olds.

Normally I think a Cherub Choir should meet weekly, learn a couple of songs and perform once a month. After volunteering to help I was made the director and told they would do the four main hymns every week.

The kids were great, we would meet, practice (learn), snack (just them) and then sing the Entrance Hymn, the Offertory Hymn, the Communion Hymn and finally the Recessional Hymn, four different songs every week.

I lead and taught with a guitar, but always had an accompanist and sometimes a cantor to help during mass. In order to make sure there wasn’t any quiet time when the songs were too short I brought my Jean-Luc Boudreau Van Eyck Soprano Recorder (415 HZ and similar to this one, but plain pear wood ) serial number 45. I would play themes and variations on Hymns from Jacob van Eyck’s Der Flyuten Lust-Hof. I love playing in big churches.

We did the Saturday Vigil, the so called Family Mass. I woke one Sunday morning and decided to practice. I opened my bag and there was no recorder to be found. There had already been several masses in the church when I arrived in the sacristy late that morning.

This recorder came with a knitted or crocheted bag type case that is pink. I snuck a peek out toward the choir area and there sitting on the mixer cabinet in the middle of everything for everyone to see was my bright pink recorder case. I was very happy to find it.

The only other time was even more decades ago when some fellow students and I went to spend the night on a elevated area near the lakes just on the then outskirts of Austin. We picked one area and every one got out, including me and my Martin 0-18. We looked around and decided to try somewhere else, even though it was already dark.

After driving a ways I realized I was missing my guitar. So back we went. It is the strangest thing on a very dark night to turn a corner out in the country and have your guitar case come into the headlights. So that’s where we camped, well sat around singing and staring at the then star filled sky.

Pat T.

From Charlie Gibbs
Posted on November 6, 2012 at 7:00 PM
I'm fortunate enough to never have forgotten my violin anywhere, but a couple of times I've forgotten to pack my bow. Fortunately on one occasion someone had a spare bow I could borrow. The other occasion was a bluegrass jam, and since I had also brought my mandolin I just played it for the entire session.

Now I'm careful to keep a spare bow in my case at all times. It's a bow I picked up somewhere that had a makeshift repair of a broken tip; the tip is now a big blob of epoxy that puts the bow completely out of balance. But at least it's playable - and its unpleasant feel serves as a reminder to not forget my primary bow again.

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