Those of you who have read some of my articles here on the Doctor Zither.com website know that I have been extraordinarily blessed to have met some wonderful people in my travels around the world. I have met and played with some very talented musicians, zither players, singers, guitarists, keyboardists, etc. I have also had the great opportunity to meet and get to know some of the very gifted people who make some of the instruments mentioned above. In Germany, there are the brothers Steffan and Frank Meinl of Horst Wünsche Zitherbau, in Markneukirchen. In Austria, there is Peter Mürnseer of Kitzbühel, who in addition to creating some wonderful zithers is also world-famous as the maker of some of the most-sought after harps in the world. Then right here in the USA is Sasha Radicic, whose guitars and zithers are works of art.
Music has always played a role in our Christmas Eve celebration with family at my cousins’ Joe and Pam’s house. For several years the heartier among us would brave the cold and snow and try to rekindle that old tradition of door-to-door caroling. In time, though, the desire to don hat, gloves and scarf and stand outside over several choruses of “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful” waned. This was probably a good thing since we noticed that people were becoming more and more reluctant to stand by an open door when the temperature outside is 23° Fahrenheit. So now, instead, we leave coat and hat hanging in the closet and sing for ourselves as we sit around the table.
This Christmas Eve one of Joe’s closest friends was able to join us for the evening, the renowned classical guitarist, Pat Bianculli. Pat is adjunct professor of guitar at Long Island University Post on Long Island, NY and teaches guitar and IB music at the United Nations International School in NYC. His resume is so impressive, I thought you may wish to read it yourself and so have attached a link to it here for you to review. (Pat Bianculli biography)
Pat and I did a duet with the zither and guitar, the family joined in singing Christmas carols. After pretty much exhausting our repertoire of Christmas carols, we branched out into pop tunes which led to “audience requests”. It is no exaggeration to say that the music created much Christmas joy!
Pat is an extraordinary musician and just a terrific person. His unassuming manner belies the enormous talent he possesses. It is always great to be with Pat and his charming wife, Kathleen McDonald, and even greater when he has guitar in hand.