When I was volunteering during the 9/11 recovery effort down at St. Paul’s, musicians would come at lunch and play for the recovery workers. A quartet led by violinist Jorge Avila came regularly. I knew Jorge because he leads the orchestra that plays for all the Grace Church Choral Society concerts. One week Jorge came, but the other members of the quartet weren’t there. I don’t know if there was a mix-up about the days or what, but after waiting Jorge finally stood and played alone.
Now the truth is, while the recovery workers were always very grateful to the musicians, they were tired so the music was treated as background music while they ate or socialized.
When Jorge stood and played, that’s what happened at first. People were only half-listening. But slowly, person by person, every one in that large room stopped talking and listened. I had never seen them so rapt before (or since). Jorge had those guys in the palm of his hand. I wonder how many knew before listening to Jorge that they could love the sound of a single violin? But afterward some of them said it was the most beautiful thing they had ever heard.
If you can afford to go to this benefit, you will have the pleasure of listening to Jorge in an intimate and I’m told gorgeous setting (someone’s very swank NYC apartment), while sipping cocktails, and benefiting my choir, one of the best things in my life. So I of course would be very grateful. (I also understand if you don’t have the money right now.)
I’m going to be emailing some of you as well. But the important thing is if you buy the tickets through me you save $25.