I am so blessed to have met my husband at college while studying music. We both came to Westminster Choir College to study piano performance and pedagogy with Ingrid Clarfield. Every semester, Mrs. Clarfield would pair students in her studio to serve as “practice buddies.” Once a week, these practice buddies would meet and play for each other to prepare for weekly piano lessons and studio class performances. My first piano buddy was Ryan. Over the course of my first semester at Westminster, Ryan and I met every week and critiqued each other, providing each other with insight on how to improve the technique and artistry of our piano performance. It was during this experience that Ryan and I became close friends. Over the course of the next two years, Ryan and I maintained a strong friendship and supported each other through our enriching college experience. We grew closer together through the power and the beauty of music.
Out of our great friendship grew a beautiful romance! Our dates included local performances, musical lectures, and even Elton John concerts. One May evening, Ryan asked if I would like to sight-read through a piano duet that he had just composed. We sat down at the piano together and looked at the piece. The title was “Habanera d’Amore” and I noticed it was written in my favorite key: f minor. We began playing from his beautifully hand-written score. It was so lively and fun to play. Around measure 53, I noticed there were some words written in the score. I leaned in to get a closer look. The words were: “Will you marry me?” I’ve gotten surprises sight-reading music before, but not quite like that one! Ryan got down on one knee and gave me the most beautiful ring. We were engaged!
We are now happily married and Ryan continues to compose heart-felt music. We continue to create and enjoy beautiful music and we look forward to all of the wonderful musical experiences that we will share in our lifetime together!Rose McCathran, Piano Teacher