Yesterday morning, I was with the string trio at a school where a woman named Danielle Mallet-Hachey greeted us at the school. We learned that she was the music teacher and was on maternity leave. She was walking gingerly up the stairs and I asked her was she alright. She told me she had just given birth by cesarian six days ago and that this was her first outing.
I looked at her puzzled and asked why she wasn’t at home resting. She said that she wasn’t able to attend the evening concert in Yellowknife and that she didn’t want to miss hearing our wonderful orchestra musicians. I told her how lovely that was and she shared with me that she had heard the orchestra ten years ago in 2002 when NACO was in Moncton. She had had the opportunity to have a masterclass with Jean Guy Breault, NACO musician now retired, and that she had never forgotten that experience – that it was transformative.
Late last night, at the chamber music reading session with members of Classics on Stage, I saw her again with her husband and baby. It was 9pm – and our musicians book-ended her day. Although she looked tired, she had a big smile on her face. We laughed and she said she hoped she wouldn’t have to wait another 10 years until she had the opportunity to interact with our orchestra again.
Written by Genevieve Cimon
Director, Music Education and Community Engagement