Winter wedding adventure

Category: Music and Life

Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2015…

That will be a memorable date in our musicians’ history.  At 4:30 in the afternoon, the three of us, violinist, violist and a cellist were due to play at a wedding ceremony at Bella Sera, a place in the heart of Canonsburg, south of Pittsburgh.  Earlier in the day there were predictions of some snowfall with accumulations of 1-3 inches.  The three musicians were coming from different directions. On a good day, the farthest of us lives about 30 minutes from the above mentioned wedding venue. Now on a personal note….

I am not sure what forces of nature, or a”gut feeling” entered my brain, but I left my house at 2:10, which is way too early under normal circumstances.  As it turned out – it was barely enough to get there! At 2:15 there was a complete blizzard-like conditions, with zero visibility. In the following one hour-time, I have driven about a half a mile from my house. At one point, not being able to avoid going up the hill, I was stuck and only with the kindness of a couple of gentlemen who pushed my car from behind was I able to continue up a steep hill. At 3:30 I was still not even a half way to the wedding place. Meanwhile, I witnessed several accidents, a stuck bus and several blocked intersections where drivers simply gave up on driving due to zero visibility and others being stuck on hills. 

At that point I had to do what I have never done in my professional life as a musician.  I called the mother of the bride, and with an apology prepared her that there might not be any musicians playing at her daughter’s wedding.  She was very nice about it, obviously sad, told me to be careful and it was not worth risking my life… To deviate a bit from the story, this was one of those “easy booking”, where the client (mother of the bride) was amazingly well organized: she sent us printed lists of every piece that musicians are to play for the ceremony, as well as directions to the place from every possible corner of Pittsburgh, emergency numbers, and other materials that we usually have to extract from our clients, at times at a very last minute! I really did not want to disappoint her, so I kept on driving, average speed – 5-10 mph…  At 3:50 I called the other two musicians, one of whom was stuck on the local highway due to a blizzard. She decided to continue on.  The violinist arrived first with about ten minutes to spare. By the grace of God I made it there as well, with the last maneuver being my car sliding across the parking lot right in front of Bella Sera. Two minutes later the cellist showed up, frazzled but there!

From what the musicians heard, many of the guests for this wedding were on the shuttle bus from a local hotel… the bus didn’t make it in time for the beginning of the ceremony, arriving just as the newlywed couple finished the exchange of the vows.

At the end of the evening, we were profusely thanked by the parents of the bride, received one complement after another. It was truly a miracle that we made it there….

…and the “1-3 inches of snow” turned out to be at least 7 inches…

The musicians made it!

The musicians made it!