Tuesday, February 3, 2009
More Work Than Miracle
[During a church service in Manhattan,] the bishop announced that we would be treated to Polonaise in A Flat Major by Chopin. Unusual for sacrament meeting, unheard of for testimony meeting. Then a tiny blonde girl 8 years old stood up to play it. She disappeared onto the piano bench. They lifted the lid on the beautiful Manhattan Ward grand piano and then--wow!--we heard Chopin. Katie and I wondered if some adult with large shoulders and big hands had crawled back there to trick us. She was wonderful--beautiful phrases, sparkling music. We thought she was some NYC protege but learned afterward that she is from Salt Lake City, taught by her mother, had gone to a piano competition in Texas and won the opportunity to go to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall. Her 10 year old sister had done the same thing two years before. She gets up at 5:30 to practice and averages 4 hours per day when preparing for competition. The mother has no degree in music but played from the time she was 5. She studied music after she was married for two years at the University of Utah. Beautiful young mother. Every phrase of that music had been carefully and beautifully practiced. More work than miracle, as always.