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  • Kathleen Brauer, violin and Terri Van Valkinburgh

Visitors of the Month

Rachael and Daisy on the podium

Katie Brauer, Lyric Orchestra violinist and orchestra committee chair, connected with Rachael and her daughter Daisy after Rachael wrote on the Orchestra’s Facebook page during the strike. While expressing support for the orchestra, Rachael was concerned that we might not play an upcoming performance of La Boheme. Rachael’s mother had been an opera lover and had brought her to the opera for the first time when (Rachael) she was 8 years old. Now that Rachael’s daughter Daisy is 8, she wanted to give her the same experience. They live in rural Illinois, however, several hours away from Chicago, and after Rachael had saved for the tickets to La Boheme and an overnight stay in Chicago, the two were disheartened that they might not get to see the opera.

“I wrote back to Rachael and explained that Lyric was planning to exchange tickets for performances later in the season. My son Liam is also eight, and I sympathized with the difficulty of disappointing a child’s expectations. I encouraged Rachael to let me know when they attended the opera and I would give them a tour of the pit”, explained Katie. “As it turned out, we played the performance of La Boheme that Rachael and Daisy had originally wanted to see. Afterward, several orchestra members stayed to meet our new friends and asked them what they enjoyed about the performance before they were whisked away for a backstage tour.” Highlights included: standing on the conductor’s podium, playing Katie’s violin, and trying out principal timpanist Ed Harrison’s timpani. According to her mother, Daisy was up half the night talking about how much she loved the opera and was online the next day researching more operas. Rachael noted that while she herself doesn’t have a lot of knowledge about opera, she loves the way it makes her feel. They were both so delighted with the experience that they returned to attend the dress rehearsal for Cendrillon. Daisy says her favorite part of that opera was the costumes, but La Boheme is still her favorite!

Future timpanist?

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