Roxanne and Tom McGettigan at the IVCI Opening Ceremonies
Four years ago, after living in Indianapolis for just a year, I read the near daily reviews of the violinists participating in the 7th Quadrennial Violin Competition, not fully aware of the history of this renowned competition. I had played the violin in junior high and high school, so was interested in this competition, not realizing the impact it would have on me four years later.
When I was asked in November of 2009 if I would be interested in helping with the Opening Ceremonies for the 8th Quadrennial Violin Competition, I don’t think it took me more than a few seconds to say yes. It was during one of our first meetings that “host families” was mentioned, and again, it only took a few seconds for my husband and I to agree to this one of a kind opportunity. As the months went by and we got closer to our participant’s arrival and to the Opening Ceremonies, I grew more and more excited. So much so, I asked my parents to send my violin that they had been storing for over 25 years – so that after the competition I could begin re-learning how to play.
As a member of the Opening Ceremonies Committee, I know first-hand the details that went into the planning of this very elegant event, but it also gave me a chance to have a back door view into the comprehensive planning of the competition as a whole. By hosting a participant, Tom and I saw first-hand how hard the participants work at attempting to become the Gold winner, but it also gave us a back door view into the life of a young violinist who has spent the majority of her life devoted to her violin.
Tom and I enjoyed all 16 days of the competition, but we miss the violin music that we heard throughout our home for hours, the discussions we had between our culture and Hyun Su Shin’s in South Korea, and the laughs we’d have after attempts to understand what we were trying to tell each other. Through this experience, I have found an organization that I am excited to continue volunteering my time with, and we have made a life-long friend.