To Todd Thorson and Veronica Skaar:
As chairpersons of the 100th celebration of the Story Theater Grand Opera House I wanted you to know why I am interested in playing at the festival performance on December 18, 2013.
The first time I appeared on the stage of our Grand Opera House was in 1927. As a fundraiser, the library held a local talent variety show each year. Some of those shows are described in detail in the Story City Heralds of that period. In 1927 I was one of six girls chosen to perform. Dressed in our best, frilly dresses six first grade girls walked onto the stage and sang a popular song of the time: "Yes Sir, You’re My Baby; No Sir, I Don’t Mean Maybe; Yes Sir, You’re My Baby Girl". I was six years old. This was one of the biggest thrills of my childhood.
The Grand Opera House was THE PLACE for performances of class plays, school musicals and high school graduations. In the spring of 1935, I graduated from eighth grade in the morning, which was held in the high school auditorium. The vocal teacher, Vilas Hemphill, was teaching the string students, and he was also my violin teacher. Few high school students were playing the violin at this time in our school. Mr. Hemphill and Superintendent Green then asked me to play a violin solo at the high school commencement, which was to be held that night at the Grand Opera House. With my mother at the piano, I played Meditation from Thais by Massenet.
In 1988 the theater (now called the Story Theater) stage was remodeled and the stunning curtain was installed. To celebrate that occasion a special program was planned. Again I was asked to play, and for memories sake, I again performed the Meditation from Thais.
Now I am 92 years old and I continue to play my violin. My first appearance on the stage of our Grand Opera House was 86 years ago! I have fond memories of many performances there - playing in piano recitals given by my mother Anna Jacobson, playing in the "pit" orchestra for high school musicals and plays and also having a major role in Guess Again, our senior class play.
I feel privileged to be one of the featured performers and to once again play Massenet’s Meditation from Thais for this special 100th Celebration of Story City’s Grand Opera House!