Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins:
When Dr. Elaine Stratton Hild was only 18 years old and a music conservatory student, she was volunteering at a local hospital, playing the viola. One day she was directed to the room of a particular woman who was very ill. She started playing “Amazing Grace” and in the course of the song, the woman died.
“Did I do something wrong?” she asked the hospital staff. “No,” she was told. “You didn’t do anything wrong. That woman rode your hymn right up to heaven.”
She went on to earn a Bachelor of Music in viola performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Then, poised for a career with orchestras and chamber music ensembles, she was diagnosed with a rare neurological condition. Continuing to play professionally would have meant possible paralysis in her left hand.
READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.