One of Evan’s passions, outside of theater, was learning to play the violin. He practiced with the same energy and drive as anything he chose to focus on. We soon realized that we had no recording of him playing. So I contacted his violin instructor in college to see if there might happen to be a recording there of a practice session or anything. The email came back that unfortunately there were no recordings. So I emailed back asking what he was practicing at the time prior to March. I did not hear back, so I figured the trail was lost.
Forward to Evan’s 22 birthday party in December. One of my few tasks in supporting it was selecting some music as background for different portions of the evening. I though about what he might want and picked out a few CDs. That night getting out of the car at the location I just grabbed a CD of Evan’s I had been listening to at random as backup. Shortly after putting on the first CD near the beginning of the memorial service, I was advised by others that my selection of Aaron Copeland might not be appropriate. So I reached in the sleeve and grabbed another of the CD and started it.
The next day I received this in the email from Evan’s violin professor:
Dear Mr. Nasky,
Please know I am thinking of your family and Evan today (although I think of Evan often). I had not answered you about what Bach he was working on, which I played at his service in the theater here at UE. It is the
Prelude to Suite No. 3 by Bach, originally written for cello. Evan had fallen in love with the cello suites and wanted to learn them. I happened to find an edition that had transposed them for violin. He was thrilled and went right to work, as he did with everything, but these were a real passion for him. He refused to let any impurity exist in his performance of this Prelude so we spent a lot of lesson time getting it just right! He would get so impatient with himself because it didn’t sound like he heard it in his head and heart. I had to remind him that his head was really smart but his body needed time to “get the message”.
Evan and I would occasionally run into each other at the fitness center. It was there I found he worked with equal zeal at any task. He was usually at the rowing machine, sweating profusely and rowing like a madman. I said ‘Wow you are amazing!” He said “You have to keep in top shape to be in the theater.”…rowing like crazy the whole time.
The CD I pulled from my car at random and ended up playing at his memorial was ” Bach Suite No.3 for violonchello played by Wen-Senn Yang. Evan found the way to select his own music. He just needed a bit of help.