A nice phone call – Jessica Schmidt

I’ve been quite a delinquent blogger…but the past few weeks have
offered several moments here at the PSO that have been quite important
to me, personally- and reinforced to me how much I love my job working
with and for the PSO.  I
had an
experience at one of our Community Engagement concerts this winter that
touched me, and that I especially feel should be shared.  (it’s times
like these when blogs seem like especially good ideas)

was in one of the local towns where the orchestra was performing in a
Community Engagement setting, eating dinner with my husband when I
heard a girl at a nearby table who was around 12 years old talking with
her grandparents about the orchestra concert they were going to hear
that evening.  The girl was obviously very excited, and her
grandparents were enjoying her company.  Being the chronic eavesdropper
I am, I couldn’t help but walk over to their table after a few minutes
to introduce myself and ask if they were coming to the evening’s PSO
Community Engagement Concert.  As it turns out, they were planning to
do just that.  The Grandmother explained that her husband had never
been to a live orchestra concert before, and that they were all very
excited.  She told me that they were thrilled about the PSO coming into
their community, as it had become tough for them in their advanced age
to get out to areas beyond their immediate home for evening events.
She and her husband were worried they might not be able get tickets to
the concert, and I assured them that there would be enough tickets
available for them to attend.  They also mentioned that she and her
husband were very close to their granddaughter, and that she was a
young musician.

chatted a bit, and I gave them my name and numbers and told them to
call if they had any problems getting tickets.  After saying goodbye, I
went off to the concert venue to prepare for the performance.  I saw
the three of them in the lobby and they said hello- assuring me that
they got tickets as they went into the hall to take their seats.

next Monday, I got a call at work from the grandmother.  She told me
that she and her husband and granddaughter had absolutely loved the
performance and that it was a wonderful evening for all of them.  Her
granddaughter was an avid music listener, and loved hearing the PSO in

words that really struck me came next…  She told me that her husband
had just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and that he was just only
beginning to experience its effects.  She then told me that both she
and her husband were so thankful that he was able to hear a live,
professional orchestra concert while he could completely appreciate and
recall the experience.  In her words, "hearing that PSO concert was
like giving him a million dollars."

to say, I was very touched by her phone call. I told my husband that I
only wish I could have shared what she told me, especially about her
husband’s experience, with each member of our orchestra.  It was one of
those moments when the power of music is summed up in a way that is so
uniquely and genuinely expressed by someone who has experienced it for
the first time.  She really meant it. 

followed up with the family by sending a short note and an offer to
visit us at Heinz Hall sometime soon- and I hope they might be able to
take me up on that offer.

the gift they gave me with their words…I’d be happy to drive to their
home, pick them up, and take them to Heinz Hall…anytime.

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