Thursday, December 8, 2011

A violin on the Metro at rush hour

Gallery Place, 8:45 a.m.: I board a Red Line train bound for Silver Spring. I am carrying a backpack, a canvas bag with a binder of music in it, and my violin. I squeeze in next to a casually dressed passenger with dreadlocks.
Fellow Passenger's first remark: Do you play hip-hop?
Me: No, um, I haven't had a chance to get into hip-hop yet. [Not that I've never thought about it, but that's a subject for another post.]
Fellow Passenger: What kind of music do you play?
Me: I play classical and some folk.
FP: Where can I hear you play?
Me: Well, I have it with me today because I'm in a group that's playing at the congressional Chanukah party tonight.
FP: Where is that?
Me: The Library of Congress—over next to the Supreme Court. [Realizing why he's asking—]But it's invitation-only.
FP: What if I just come there ...
Me: Mm, sorry. It's a private party. You wouldn't be able to get in.
FP: Oh, OK. Where can I hear classical?
Me: Well, sometimes I play in an orchestra called the Washington Conservatory Orchestra. They have a concert this Sunday—I can't play in this one—but it's free, at 1 p.m. Sunday at the National Cathedral School, next to the cathedral.
Different Fellow Passenger: St. Albans.
FP: Oh, OK.
I exit the train at Union Station. Maybe I should bring my violin along for the commute more often, I think to myself.

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