Marilyn Wallin, #81 - 1996
"I have a humble room for us," she said as we walked down the hallways of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Hundreds of cases greeted us as we opened the door - large shipping cases in which the many attendees at this year's Violin Society of America Conference had used to send instruments, cases, and supplies to Baltimore for the two-day event.
The four of us settled into the space, and magic happened over the course of about thirty minutes as Marilyn Wallin and her Rodger Perrin team-adjusted my violin, an instrument made in 1996 by Ms. Wallin.
This violin, which came to me in a shipping crate from Boston, has been at my side since May of 1996 and it is the instrument with which I "hit my stride": this is the violin that I played when I successfully auditioned for the substitute list of the Houston Grand Opera Orchesta and on which I have played during all of the "important" concerts including my 2006 debut at the New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas.
It has been a joy owning and playing this violin, and equally so to have developed and maintained a friendship with Marilyn. Ms. Wallin is a very thoughtful, sensitive soul in addition to being an excellent instrument maker, and we have shared MANY things over many years, including promises and hopes to meet in person. Fortunately, the stars aligned this weekend, and while our visit was a short one I am so thankful to have finally had the opportunity to come face-to-face with a person who has played a large part in my life to-date.