The Taningard ex-Davy, or Taningard ex-John Doe, or Neo violin made its first public appearance in the care of my son yesterday at his 8th grade graduation ceremony. Conditions were favorable. His name (my son’s) was spelled correctly in the program. A sizable crowd, each of them a connoisseur of the finer things in life,  awaited him in the seats of Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton, an acoustically friendly venue built in 1930. The lighting was dramatic.

His vehicle: The Gigue from the Partita No. 2 for solo violin by Johann Sebastian Bach. The boy has had this piece under his belt for some time, so there was no undue stress in performing it.

Rehearsal had gone well, though it had been decided that a microphone would be used. The day of the performance, however, we were told that the microphone wouldn’t be used, and we were happy about it because we wanted to see what the violin could do on its own.

We spent a great deal of our time and energy on the day of the performance in making sure that the violin would be safe backstage. A special table was supplied just for the violin; a stagehand promised to watch it as it sat there, protecting it from barbarians and thieves. My son and I, loitering in the wings, discussed where he would stand onstage for maximum effect — directly under the proscenium and dead center.

In the event, violinist and violin met expectations. The son (afterwards) said that he made a couple of miscues, but they were minor. His parents, snapping photos (without flash) and shooting video, certainly did not notice, and the video provided evidence of most proficient execution. There was some debate amongst us as to whether or not the performance was loud enough in the big hall. I believe I won the day by insisting that it was (because I’m right).

He received a boisterous ovation, and not just from his parents.

And the violin itself (made in Rome by Taningard in 1748, according to sources and the label) sounded terrific: Smooth, mellow and powerful. Mission accomplished.

related posts:

Choosing a violin

Choosing a violin II: Finding ‘The One’

Choosing a violin III: The labels