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A Broken Cello Given New Life by Former SS Student

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A Broken Cello Given New Life by Former SS Student

Friday 16th of October 2020

Reporter: Wesley Hoplaros, KS2 Music Teacher

Accidents happen, and the school orchestra sadly bid farewell to one of our cherished 3/4­-size cellos last year. The diagnosis: a crack on the front face plate, which is irreparable even for the most inventive of luthiers. He was a registered organ donor, thankfully, and other cellos have been given a new lease on life thanks to the broken one’s strings, tailpiece, tuning peg, and bridge. Beyond that, we weren’t sure if he wanted to be cremated or displayed as a warning, so his corpse sat neglected in the corner, awaiting a decision.

Enter into the story a kind and creative young woman, Daniella Abou Nassar, returning to Cyprus for the summer holidays after her penultimate year of studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She has a soft spot for instruments, being an accomplished pianist and cellist herself, and happily took the poor thing home to see if she could help it. I trusted her completely with the cello, as I learned how sensible and artistic she is during our lessons and concerts over the past 10 years. More than one concert poster has been created by her hand during her time at the Senior School, and we as her teachers have learned that she will always come up with something far better than we could have ever conceived.

Less than 6 weeks later, and just days before she was to fly back to the UK for the last year of uni, full of all its uncertainties and question marks, she unveiled a truly magnificent work of ART!

The work is inspired by her own love of reading and novels, and by the generosity of the Junior School’s very own librarian Mrs. Janet Assadourian – who continues to support the music department at every turn, even donating 3 guitars that belonged to her children. Daniella lovingly covered every inch of the cello’s surfaces with intricately detailed books, pages, piano keys and bright splashes of colour. I could not have imagined this poor cello ever looking so spectacular. Daniella donated her time, effort, paint and imagination to this gift to the school community during these difficult times.

This is not the first work of original art she’s donated to the cause of uplifting people’s minds and spirits during the pandemic. Before coming home for the summer, Daniella completed and delivered two portraits of NHS workers in London. She and Anastasios Antoniou (a fellow Senior School graduate) put on a charity concert with an orchestra they created and conducted, and all of the revenue went to Barts Charity for testicular cancer. Whilst back in Cyprus, Daniella and Rebecca Eliadou (also a Senior School graduate) performed a piano improvisation piece with simultaneous live painting in an online fundraising event organized by Curtain Up in Crisis to raise money for the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal.

Thank you, Daniella, for this beautiful piece of art. It will be on display in the JS library, and hopefully the students and parents will get a chance to see it in person once the epidemic subsides and the measures are lifted. We also look forward to the buildings of the Junior & Senior School being filled with the sounds of music again as we find ways to safely take part in the community-building and life-affirming practice of singing and playing instruments together.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it