May 08, 2020
As I listened to Sioux City Symphony Orchestra violinist, Kristin Ortmann play Borowski’s “Adoration” on Facebook today, I was moved. Kristin is one of the orchestra instructors for Sioux City Schools and she has impacted thousands of lives in her music education career. While we’ve all had an interesting couple of months, Kristin’s was especially eventful. On March 1st, while packing up to head home from a trip, Kristin’s husband Joe suffered a cardiac arrest in the hotel room and spent days in an out-of-town hospital, in a coma fighting for his life. I followed her regular posts about Joe’s condition and the immense love she has for him showed through every post. Her updates were regular, and it was so amazing to see the news that Joe recovered and was able to come home March 10th, just in time for quarantine. When I heard Kristin play “Adoration” today on the Symphony’s Facebook Page, I was struck by power of music to touch our hearts. I can’t imagine the ups and downs of Kristin’s past 60 days and her performance was particularly special.
I was also moved listening to my own daughter Holly play “Andantino” on the violin for me last week. It had been a while since I heard her play, and she’s come a long way. Holly is only 8 years old and doesn’t practice as much as we would like, but she enjoys playing violin and continues to improve little by little. More than anything, I think what has kept Holly playing violin is her instructor, Kristin Ortmann. In addition to her full time career with Sioux City Schools, Kristin also teaches private lessons at Midbell, where she touches even more lives through music, including Holly. She has been so patient with Holly and we’re so grateful that Kristin is in Holly’s life.
We’re inundated with all kinds of conflicting messages about our Pandemic world today. The decisions, actions, and opinions are bewildering to say the least. I’ve been out of sorts and confused, wondering “What is real?” “What can we truly believe?” After hearing Kristin play today, I have clarity. I believe in the impact teachers make on student’s lives. I believe in the love we have for others, whether it is mourning the loss of a loved one, or joy in recovery from health emergencies. I believe trying to do the next right thing every day. I believe in the power of music…to carry us through hard times, to move us to better appreciate other human beings, and to just feel the energy that only music can emit. I whole heartedly believe in that musical energy.
Blessings to our sick loved ones. Blessings to all those people experiencing loss, and living in fear. And blessings to the music makers and teachers…you make this world a better place. This is my data.
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