Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Behind the Scenes Story of Interview with A Flutist Robin Etter - by Flutist Shannon Caine, Candlelight & My Bucket List

I have played for Disney since one of my dearest friends Sondra Vaughn Disney Harpist gave my name to the Walt Disney World Harpist for now over 30 years Kathleen Attanasi for gigs at Disney. My first gig was on the Empress Lilly. Playing at Disney I met many wonderful musicians including Susan Goldmann, Bethany, and Soon Hee Newbold Rettig to name just a few. One of our gigs we played for Michael Eisner at a private event. Very cool. Anyway the Christmas after my younger brother passed away – we were all having a very hard time with everything especially the holidays. I shared this will Kathleen; she immediately offered to take us to the Candlelight Processional. The evening we attended Robert Urich narrated, he did a great job – there was not a dry eye in audience. The evening was beautiful, and a dear memory now that my Dad is gone too. I listened intently to my friends performing in the Orchestra and flutists I did not know – yet. I told my parents who had bought me my first flute from a pawn shop in Junior High and first Professional Flute as a senior that, “I am going to play in that orchestra one day. My Dad did not live to see that come true. But, this dream came true when I played with the Walt Disney World Orchestra after many years at Disney as a contracted musician and then statused musician. I was so happy to play with specifically Robin Etter on First Flute and I was on Second Flute. My favorite songs from the Candlelight Processional are What Child Is This and the Hallelujah Chorus. My other favorite narrator from Candlelight is Abigail Breslin who I met by chance after the performances back stage with her mom. She was a very dear person and made The Bucket List dream even better than I thought it could be. Years prior I had found out about Robin from a business associate. I called her and I had bought her CD – I loved it, every note. I found it inspiring to reach further and work harder. I called her and gushed on how much I loved her playing. She was very kind. We became friends and have played gigs together with my Three Flutes Only Trio and other settings. It was always amazing and beautiful. I researched the songs on the CD, trying to find the score to this particular clip Summer Theme from her CD – during this search I received a personal call back from renowned Flutist Julius Baker – he and his wife called me on a conference call – he listened to the CD and said what a great player Robin was and then said “Oh that song is by my good friend Pat Williams. Julius was so fun and down to earth on the phone and offered to send me a cd of his performance. I received that in mail a week later. He had pulled up his rolodex and gave me Patrick Williams information and  number on the LA. California. Well, Pat responded with a letter and the Original Hand Calligraphy Score He said a lot of his music had been lost in a studio fire, but he had this score, he titled, “Variations on an Autumn Theme. It is my favorite song from Robin’s CD - although I do love them all. This clip says it all. Many thanks to Robin for her kindness, sharing her inspiring musicianship and her talent. Thank you to Sondra Vaughn and Kathleen Attanasi for always believing in me that led me to play with Robin, Candlelight and many other great events. Do what you love, and when people say NO, ignore them and pursue your dream no matter what obstacles you encounter along the way. Photo credits: Tim Kelly and Essence Music. Sondra Vaughan, Kathleen Attanasi, Soon Hee Newbold Rettig and Robin Etter.

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