Let’s hear it for musicians and serendipity!

May 18, 2015 | 3 comments

Kerry in Concert

Kerrie in Concert

One of the least expected serendipities of my life has been getting to know a number of musicians – a serendipity in the truest sense of the word which, according to my handy-dandy dictionary, means “luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for.”

From earliest childhood (truly!) I was told by my sainted mother that our family is not musical. And, I was told by more than one teacher (truly!) that I could not carry a tune. So, I grew up assuming that those who could do anything musical were special beyond belief, able to do things that ordinary mortals such as myself could not and should not aspire to. I have remained in suitable awe of any and all musicians ever since.  Never in those wildest dreams we hear about did I think that I would actually get up close and personal with any really-o truly-o tune-carriers.

So, what unusual and incredible luck it has been to meet and become friends with so many musically talented folks! I give full marks to years of Oysterville Music Vespers and to our House Concerts for putting me in proximity with so many amazing people. Serendipity for sure!

Listening to Kerrie

Listening to Kerrie

I thought about all that yesterday as I sat in my living room surrounded by friends and neighbors, all of us listening to Kerrie McNally sing and play her songs. In the audience were her Willapa Hills Band mate Jennifer Johnson who popped up and sang a final number with her. And there was Mary Garvey, songwriter extraordinaire, who has yet another album coming out in the fall. And Starla Gable whose harmonies with sister Cate fill my heart each time they sing.  And…

I was still basking in the glow later in the evening when an email came from Irish fiddler Randal Bays. It included a picture of his sons, Willie and Owen, with this message:

The Bays Boys

The Bays Boys

“The Bays boys did pretty well at the Midwest Fleadh Cheoil in Cincinnati this weekend; Owen took third place in the 12U concertina competition and Willie won first in the 12-15 concert flute.  We may be going to Ireland in August for the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the All-Ireland music competition.”

Wowie Zowie! Never mind that I had to look stuff up – especially the pronouncing part. What wonderful news to put the cap on a full musical day. Who’d a thunk it? Certainly not that mean choir teacher who told me to be still and just mouth the words! (Truly!) Let’s hear it for musicians and serendipity!


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    As always, it was a delightful evening and what exciting news about the Bays boys!

  2. Nancy Russell tone

    Was the the choir teacher Mrs. Cavenaugh (phonetically written) who orchestrated the “Pirates of the Carriibean (sp.?) operetta with Ray and Mary starring? I believe I have a photo stored away, somewhere. And then, there was Mrs. Lynch, the art teacher who told me I had no eye for color and form…that we survived, a miracle!

    • sydney

      Yes! Mrs. Cavenaugh — the very one! I don’t think I ever took an art class. I think I knew better, even then.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *