Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Music with Yo-Yo

Yes, that's me in the photo. Yes, that's the organ in St. Saviour's Church. And yes, that is most definitely Yo-Yo Ma standing next to me. This is a real photo, friends, not photo-shopped or manipulated in any form or fashion.

Last weekend I was the organist for the wedding of a delightful couple who attend my church. They are the type of young Americans that give one hope for our future. The woman went to school with Yo-Yo's children and playing for her wedding was his gift to her. Back in May, when our rector Jonathan told me what was going on, I just could not believe it! It was all very hush-hush, too, and boy was that hard.

What a marvelous experience and the opportunity of a lifetime for me. Due to travel problems Yo-Yo was quite late to our rehearsal. There was little time for pleasantries; we had to get down to work. We began with Handel's Largo and as he played the long opening note I was moved to tears by the most beautiful musical sound I've ever heard and by the realization that I was, in fact, making music with the greatest 'cellist in the world.

He could not have been more gracious, humble or generous. Before the wedding I introduced him to Bill and he handed over his Strad, offering to let Bill draw a bow. And unlike most weddings, where the prelude music serves as background for chatter, the proverbial pin drop here would have seemed like a clashing gong.

People anxiously asked how nervous I was and my answer surprised most of them. I really wasn't nervous at all, just very, very excited and filled with gratitude for this extraordinary opportunity and for Yo-Yo Ma.