Saying Hello to Ashokan’s Farewell
Rosemary Williams (White Plains), Second Violinist, the New Westchester Symphony Orchestra
Every musician, amateur or professional has a special set of notes that touch their heart, brightens their days, give them something to go to sleep by. Depending on how they are arranged, they are known by different names. I lost touch with my notes twenty four years ago when my second child was born. He brought a different kind of music into my life but still, once I put my violin down, it was as though I lost some very special friends. As the years rolled by I’d hoped for a reunion but the demands of juggling two children, work, a household, and a traveling husband left more and more distance between my notes and me. For many years, I thought I would never see them again. I mourned those lost relationships until a year ago when someone told me about the New Westchester Symphony Orchestra. At first, it sounded too good to be true. How could I return to my second chair position without drawing attention to the staleness of my skills? I soon learned that it is the love of those notes that matters most to our conductor and all of the players because, they are determined to experience being part of their music and living the beauty of the music matters far more than perfection. Now, one year later, I rush to each rehearsal in anticipation of being with my friends again. Each week they go by different names: Camille Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals, Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, and my favorite, my lovely good friends that are known as the Ashokan Farewell by Jay Ungar. What a wonderful new chapter in my life thanks, to musicians who share my longing and delight in welcoming new comers into their weekly reunions.