Monday, April 1, 2013

Notably Natalie

January 9, 2013 -- I’ve known Natalie for quite some time. We attended BYU and played in the Philharmonic together many moons ago. She’s been my stand partner at MT Pit recording sessions since its inception over eight years and 75 musicals ago. She is the sister of Meredith, contractor of many of the sessions for which I play and  concertmaster of The Orchestra at Temple Square and my stand partner there. 
In December, just before Christmas, Natalie mentioned to me that she felt a strange mass in her abdomen and had made an appointment with the doctor. 

I was in Seattle when she received her diagnosis. What the doctors discovered was stage four ovarian cancer that had spread into her lymph system, lungs, heart sac and other places throughout her body. Heartbroken and with a "basket of sunshine" in hand, I went to see her.

I found her cheerful, hopeful, and in good spirits. She had had surgery to remove what they could. We talked of  her choices - chemo or no chemo and the strength of attitude, hope, and prayers. I asked her what she needed most and she mentioned “financial help.” She and a handful of her previous students had started the ball rolling - A benefit concert in two weeks! She had asked many of her “famous” local musician friends to perform, and each and every one was honored to be a part of it. But Natalie was overwhelmed at this point and needed someone to “take charge.” 

I am a very hard-worker but didn’t feel that I had the organizational skills to pull the musicians together in a couple of weeks. I knew someone who could. Natalie’s sister, Meredith! Natalie responded, “She is SO busy -- I can’t ask her!”

I could... and I did and she said, “yes.”

Meredith put the musicians and the evenings numbers together, I spread the word on Facebook and took care of answering questions. Randy and I designed tickets and programs. Natalie’s friend, Loree, and I discussed ideas and logistics, Loree set up a donation sight, and we were off and running. 

The response was amazing and the evening was magical, exhilaration, touching, and inspiring. Nearly 1000 people attended and filled Libby Gardner Hall, its choir seats, and even extra chairs on stage. What an outpouring of love from the all-star performers and audience alike. Though very sick with a respiratory infection, Natalie was there to feel the power of so many and was touched and uplifted by the support she received.

Natalie and her darling mother.


Richard Elliott - “Sinfonia” from Bach’s Cantata 29

Natalie’s students - First movement of Bach’s Double Violin Concerto

Michael Dowdle - “Where the River Bends”

Jessie Clark Funk - Aretha Franklin Medley

Peter Breinholt and Nancy Hanson - “Everything Will Be Alright”

Lex de Azevedo - Rhapsody on the theme “Oh My Father”

Alex Boye - Danny Boy

Ben Henderson and Jed Moss - “Adagio” by Dittersdorf

Daron Bradford and Jed Moss - “Aria” by Eugene Bozza

Will Hagen and Jed Moss - “Praeludium and Allegro” by Fritz Kreisler

Hillary Alleman, Andrea Ashdown, Brant Bayless, Will Hagen, 
Anne Lee, Becca Moench, David Porter, Kevin Shumway - Mendelsssohn Octet

Aaron Ashton and Jake Workman - “Natalie’s Jubilee”

Kelly Parkinson and Jed Moss - “Romance” by Crawford Gates

Sue Krupa Gray and Dan Waldis - “Anything for a Friend”

Jenny Jordan Frogley and Dave Halliday - “Sax-o-Beat”

Kurt Bestor and Friends - “Stradivarius” Meredith Campbell, soloist

I was fortunate to be among the "friends."

Kenneth Cope - “Broken”

Will Hagen and Jed Moss - “Polonaise” by Wieniawski

The Piano Guys - “Can’t Help Falling in Love”

The Piano Guys and Alex Boye - “Peponi”

I didn’t realized just how much responsibility I felt for the success of this evening and it’s importance on Natalie’s behalf until it was over... and I had an overpowering rush of tears. Randy just held me and let me cry. 

May the Lord bless you in your journey, my dear friend, Natalie! 

Natalie posted this sweet response:

Dear Friends....I've been oddly silent, no posts, since the concert. I came down with a virus, RSV and it's been a serious infection, been very ill in bed, but looks like I am finally turning a corner so I can do things as strenuous as posting on FB now :). 

I have loved reading the posts of everyone else and seeing the pictures and videos in order to relive the moment. It was way beyond a once in a life time moment, because I doubt that many have such a great gift given to them. I feel like the luckiest, most blessed girl. If this were part of a movie, I don't know if it would be believable. Each performance was so magical and transporting. From the moment the organ started, to the closing rendition with Alex, Jon and hit every human emotion and desire: poignant, spiritual, fun, rollicking, exquisite, it was all there, as well as many tears, refreshing, delicious tears. I felt it showed off "music" itself and the high honor it holds in this world. Nothing could have taken us to the place that the music did, so well performed by such masters. I have had wonderful messages and calls from those who were in attendance as to some of the numbers that touched them most or that they enjoyed most, and they all mention different ones because each seemed to be absolutely perfect. Truly, anyone who was in attendance did experience a moment that can never be repeated. So, my heartfelt thanks to all the musicians who made it happen, to all those who organized and did the behind the scenes work, and to all who were in attendance and shared their love so freely with me. Finally, I must say enormous thanks to everyone who donated. It is such a HUGE burden lifted to have the means to pay my medical costs, the bills are starting to come in and I am able to pay them! MY HEARTFELT THANKS TO ALL for starting out my healing journey with a bang!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Ah, thank you for letting me relive that concert through the great pictures Randy took!! I was overwhelmed by the support and love on the stage and in the audience. You are amazing Kathryn, and you and Meredith make a great team. Fabulous fabulous fabulous!!!
    I wonder how Natalie is doing?