Tuesday, November 27, 2007

John Tischhauser, my Great Grandfather

I'd met my great grandfather a few times while I was growing up but since he died when I was about five years old, I don't really remember him. He was a multi-talented musician who played a variety of instruments. But mainly he was a violinist and played with the Albuquerque Civic Symphony, the pre-cursor to the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.

Recently, a friend of mine and cello player in the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra, Pete Palmer, showed me a print he had from the ACS 1956-57 season, showing himself in the cello section and my great grandfather in the orchestra as well. Pete had found out about my ancestor because my cousin Anne Tillery mentioned John Tischhauser to him. Both Pete and I searched the violin section to identify my great grandfather, but neither of us were sure which person he was.

As it turns out, the reason was because he was sitting in the viola section! When I was just starting out on viola, I had an instrument that was originally owned by Tischhauser. It was a small viola, and not super-great quality, so I used it in elementary school and up until high school when I purchased the Honeycutt viola. But I never realized that my great grandfather actually played viola seriously. But there he is, sitting second chair viola. Now, I feel even more of a kinship with him.


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