Friends, Connections, Circumstances, Luck ... All Lead to Chance of a Lifetime
Sussex girl gets to meet one-on-one with Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra violin virtuoso Frank Almond.
This is a story about chance leading to destiny for a Sussex family and their little girl.
Last year, David Jasinski of Sussex won two tickets to a concert of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Nice, but hardly life changing, right?
In this case, it was indeed life changing.
David and his wife Marilou decided that their daughter, 10-year-old Hayley, should go to enjoy the concert. After all, she'd been studying violin for six years.
Hayley started on violin at age 4 after David and Marilou attended an event at the Hamilton School District's Willow Springs Learning Center, W220N6660 Town Line Rd. in Menomonee Falls.
There, they happened into a conversation with a performer from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.
She was looking for children willing to dedicate themselves to learning violin through a demanding method called Suzuki, based in part on each student developing a deep love for classical music.
For six years, David and Marilou have taken Hayley twice a week to the conservatory on Milwaukee's east side for both private and group lessons.
A few months ago, at the MSO concert to which her father had — by chance — won tickets to attend, Hayley watched and listened in awe as the symphony and its first chair violinist and concertmaster, Frank Almond, performed Vivaldi's popular "The Four Seasons," composed in the 1700s.
While enjoying the concert, Hayley turned to her parents and said, "That's what I want to do — play violin in the Milwaukee Symphony."
Jump to this afternoon. A very special meeting will be taking place in downtown Milwaukee at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts between Hayley Jasinski and the virtuoso whose artistry and passion playing the violin made such an impression, Frank Almond.
Three big chances broke Hayley's way. After all, the headline of this story says friends, connections, circumstances, luck.
First Big Chance: Big Dave won those symphony tickets out of the blue because he listens to Cianciola's weekday Internet entertainment program, The PhilCast.
"Phil made this all happen with the symphony and Mr. Almond," Jasinski said.
Second Big Chance: When Cianciola heard from Big Dave that Hayley had loved the concert so much, he put his connections to work.
Another of his listeners, given the nickname by Phil of "SuperFan Judy," suggested that perhaps Frank Almond would allow himself to be interviewed by this little girl. Mequon's Judy Wagner and her husband Dick have long been patrons of the symphony orchestra.
Third Big Chance: Calls were made, Mr. Almond said that he'd love to, and this afternoon a set of tickets given away in a contest has turned into an opportunity of a lifetime for a 10-year-old girl, an opportunity that might just lead to a lifelong career.
The person who David Jasinski credits with making it all happen, Cianciola, is delighted for Hayley. "I think it's cool that this little girl has a passion, and even cooler that a world renowned performer like Frank Almond is taking the time to meet with her," Cianciola said.
"It makes me feel good about living in a city with a symphony that's this good and whose musicians really care about things like this. I can't wait to the see the smile on Hayley's face."
Hayley has a homework calendar and "for weeks now, she's been counting down the days to this afternoon," her father said.
So, what kind of questions does 10-year-old Hayley have for an internationally renowned concertmaster and violin virtuoso? Here are some of them:
- How old were you when you started playing violin?
- How many hours per day do you practice?
- Do you like cats?
- Where is your most favorite place that you've traveled?
The answers to these and other questions, and a picture or two of the meeting this afternoon will follow soon with any, um — luck.
So, bookmark sussexpatch.com and come back to read all about it, presuming all the, um, connections get made this afternoon!
(Sussex Patch editor Andy Smith has been involved with the PhilCast program.)