Now, where was I before I was so rudely interrupted?
Back in Ghent, I walked into Arpeggio Music. I talked to Harm, the store’s resident cellist. I told my story. He smiled. After a few minutes, he ushered me to a chair and placed a cello between my knees. So familiar. There followed coaching about proper position of the instrument so that the fingers of my left hand could easily press the strings.
I began, sweeping the bow across the strings, then placing my fingers in what they remembered was first position. The tone of notes was revealed, more or less in tune. Now adding the vibrato, the moving of a finger on a string to create a depth of sound, a pulsing of the note that is so sweet.
My eyes widened. There was a 16-year-old in that chair, sitting on the stage of Lawrence Park Collegiate with everyone else during an after-school rehearsal. I knew immediately that this was the right place for me in 2023. I will rent a cello from Arpeggio as soon as one is available, mostly likely within a month. Harm pointed out the front window to a building up the street, known as Kunstacademie De Poel, or in English the Academy of Music, Drama and Dance. “Your future could be there.” Their program starts again in September, and includes cello lessons plus classes in music theory and history.
Harm mentioned that there is an amateur string orchestra in Ghent called Da Capo. Someday, if I practice diligently, I may be able to play with them. They have a concert in nearby Merelbeke on March 11. I’m going … to hear the music and hopefully talk to orchestra members.
I walked into De Poel and talked to a fellow who co-ordinates the rental of instruments there. He said to come back at the end of May if I’m interested and register for the 2023-2024 academic session. I’m interested.
So what will become of my cellist life? Stay tuned.