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Laurie Niles

It's true: I can't say enough about the violin

July 15, 2010 at 10:58 PM

I took my new fiddle for its first test-drive in public on Sunday, when I played it for a church service in Tacoma, Washington. The verdict: nice ride.

Last weekend brought us to Tacoma to visit some family friends with children the same ages as ours, who used to live close by and go to the same school. Since we would be there on a Sunday, and our friend is senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Tacoma, I offered to play. This worked out well, since the choir was on summer break.

Naturally, I played "Meditation from Thais." I play it so frequently that I sometimes make the mistake of thinking that everyone must be tired of it. Not true! Most people hear it very seldom, and they love it because they recognize it.

"I had tears in my eyes," said one woman afterwards, shaking my hand, "My mother was a concert violinist, and my father was a pianist, so you can imagine, it brought back so many memories!" The associate pastor confessed to being a violinist and playing the piece for a college audition. Another woman told me she used to play violin in the Seattle Symphony and teach violin, "until I sold my violin and never played it again. I love the tone of your violin!"

At this, I just had to confess. "My fiddle is a newborn!"


"Yes! The varnish is barely dry!" I picked up the fiddle and stood right next to her as she peered into the f-hole, "Hiroshi Kono, Tokyo, 2010."

I spoke with the other church musicians -- about managing a musician's life with children, about teaching, about how fun it was to play together.

In the end, Robert had to drag me from the church. I would have stayed all day chit-chatting. Yes, I can't say enough about the violin. It's true!


From Elinor Estepa
Posted on July 16, 2010 at 12:56 AM

the new Mom can't stop talkin'! great blog Laurie! Stay safe! and Have FUN!

From Jo Parker
Posted on July 16, 2010 at 5:46 AM

 Fantastic Laurie, I was not there but it's like I was and can feel the excitement running through you, I would have loved to be there!

Posted on July 16, 2010 at 6:55 AM

>>Naturally, I played "Meditation from Thais."<<

May I ask: With or w/o the piano accompaniment?

From Dion Ackermann
Posted on July 16, 2010 at 9:06 AM

 My daughter lives in Tacoma and my wife is visiting her at the moment. If I knew the Niles caravan was passing through I would have asked them to go and listen how the violin should be played. I also practice the Meditation and it also brings tears to her eyes, while she mutters  "poor man".  She must be thinking about the composer.

From Julian Stokes
Posted on July 16, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Naturally, I played "Meditation from Thais."

In one line the sum total of my violinistic ambition - to play that with no "ouch" moments - if I could then I would know I had arrived and I could die a happy man.

From Laurie Niles
Posted on July 16, 2010 at 4:24 PM

 Dion, lol, I seriously doubt that is the cause of her tears!

Yes, actually it was very cool because both the pianist and the organist played along (the organist just adding depth, kind of a bassline), so there was a really full accompaniment. Come to think of it, I've never been so fully supported!

From Darcy Lewis
Posted on July 18, 2010 at 5:04 PM


Wow--I must have missed a lot! Last I heard, The Italian was your big news!


From Ray Randall
Posted on July 18, 2010 at 5:55 PM

How about uploading yourself playing each violin so we can hear how they sound?

From robert keith
Posted on July 18, 2010 at 7:40 PM


What a wonderful Sunday you must of had. :)

- Rob

From Laurie Niles
Posted on July 20, 2010 at 11:55 PM

 Nice to hear from you, Darcy; the Gagliano just didn't want to do the cross-country car trip so I got a spare. But it's turning out to be a very nice spare! It was a lovely Sunday. :)

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