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  • Jessica McAllister

VIOLINIST MEMORIES: CELTIC STYLE

Updated: Dec 2, 2018

When you're an event musician, you never really know what you're in for when hired for an event.


Since 2015, I've had some pretty unique experiences; some funny, some frustrating. I'll definitely share my "Top 5 Memorable Moments" soon, but this post is about a gig I had just this last Saturday.





A couple weeks back, I was contacted by a food/drink coordinator for a hotel in downtown Salt Lake City, UT. She was on the hunt for some Celtic fiddle music for a St. Patrick's Day party. I jumped on the gun so fast that I nearly forgot that I don't have any Celtic fiddle music in my repertoire. Like, uh, none. Zip. Zilch. That wasn't about to deter me, though! I mean, my last name is McAllister. I'm practically Celtic by marriage (actually it's Scottish, but, hey).


After finding a cool compilation of Celtic music online, I thought all of my problems were solved. It even had 65 minutes worth of music... perfect for my 60-minute gig! I was on cloud 9 when I realized that it also came with an accompaniment CD that I could use with my best pal, Murphy.


(Now, in case you're confused, Murphy is not a friendly biped that follows me around to play my CDs. He's really not even a "he" at all. Murphy is my Behringer speaker, and I love him so.)


Okay, I digress.


I broke out in a nervous sweat when I realized how close I was cutting it with the shipping dates on my CCCM ("Cool Compilation of Celtic Music"). Should the worst happen and the mailman have to fight off a swarm of mail-eating zombies, or wade through armpit-high sludge to deliver my sheet music, it would arrive approximately 30 hours before my gig was scheduled to begin.


Master 40 new pieces of music + convert the CD tracks to MP3s + learn to play along with an accompaniment that leads instead of follows > 30 hours? Yeah, that'd be... fun.


Luckily, the mailman came in contact with no such issues and my music was delivered with 5 days to spare.


Fast forward to Saturday.


The day of the event was upon me, and I was all set. I had Murphy's cords neatly tucked away in my 437-pocket music bag (I really ought to name her one of these days. "Bev the Bag", maybe?) and I had my giant stand collapsed as far as it could go. And you know what? I even found what was likely the LAST parking spot in the underground parking garage of the hotel.


I almost got backed into by a giant tour bus on my way into said garage, but, hey. That's what happens when there's a Jazz game across the street, I guess.


I was feelin' pretty good about things as I sauntered into the lobby. Oh, who am I fooling? Between my stand, my violin case, and Bev, I waddle... not saunter.


As I was looking around for the event coordinator and getting my bearings, I realized something. Something awful. In fact, I slapped my hand over my mouth to help stifle my gasp of shock.


I had left Murphy at home.


Poor, lonely Murphy.


The CCCM ("Cool Compilation of Celtic Music") was demoted to plain old CM (Celtic Music) without Murphy. How was I going to be a great event violinist without him?!


I had 15 minutes until go-time and it was a 25 minute drive home. There was no way I was going to make it.





It was time to cue my bonafide best pal: my husband, Chuck.


He valiantly came to my rescue without any hesitation and before long, Murphy was right where he belonged; by my side.


The rest of the event went down without any hiccups at all, and I feel like my CCCM was a success. It appears the event coordinator, Ramona, would agree:


Check out my review page (HERE) to read her opinion, and stay tuned for more violinist memories!

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JESSICA MCALLISTER

 FIRST STRING VIOLINIST 

801.828.6860

 FIRSTSTRINGVIOLINIST@GMAIL.COM  

         . . . SALT LAKE COUNTY, UTAH . . .