Musical Mother’s Day
The Russian Chamber Orchestra is a ‘pick-up group’ of highly trained–predominantly in Russia–musicians led by the impressive Alexander Vereshagin.
He is a bicycler, and my age, and those are the only two things we share in common.
His depth of musical know-how is fathomless. A polymath like Nabakov, he is excellent at music and at storytelling, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has some arcane hobby that has nothing to do with music.
We get him all to ourselves every Friday at College of Marin from noon to two.
He sprints up from Redwood City (did I altready tell this story? DAMN!) and back, and makes nearly nothing, and is teaching, oh…MAYBE a dozen ancient souls. And a wizend bicycle brat.
Professor V’s music appreciation class combines Russian classical, folk music, world history (well, European, with the emphasis on his country) and stand-up comedy . Considering that he’s only been here a dozen years, his language mastery is astonishing.
Anyhow the orchestra played today. Erna Torney sponsored me and Carol Cunningham. Erna, who along with Tessa and ___ created the foundation to support and promote this ever-shifting pick-up ensemble is a 90 year old wonder woman.
She’s survived losing a young husband (with three sons to raise), and taught in all the Marin Schools, and now devotes considerable energy to this group. As we pulled up to the little church (so low and insignificant that even though i’ve passed it literally a thousand times on my bike I’ve never once noticed it.) i heard my name called. Elyse Engleberg is an old time musician friend, and she also plays with the ensemble. Never knew that. Now I’m really excited.
In the church, our entire class is sprinkled thoroughout the heinously sparse audience. The roof has a golden-hued skylight, and we cook in our pews.
The signal is given (tune-up lasted about 2 seconds) and boom, we were off in Mozart land. Like I’d never heard it.
As if I’d never heard live classical music.
What can we do to pack a house for this guy and his group?
All that talent…