The sweet sounds of music that are often heard in the hallways of Bridgewater-Raritan High School recently became even more pleasing to the ears.
The result of that enjoyable music was a handcrafted violin that was donated by a member of the Bridgewater Township Senior Citizens Center to the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District’s Fine and Performing Arts program.
The donation came about when Dr. Laura Bassett, the Supervisor of Arts Education for the school district, was contacted by Jennifer Osterberg, the Director of the Senior Center, and Lin Castaldo, who is a member of the Senior Center.
“Thanks to the efforts of Lin and Jennifer, I was put in contact by them with Gerda Faltermeier, a Martinsville resident who decided to donate one of the many handcrafted violins that was created by her late husband Heinz Faltermeier, who was an artist and a carpenter,” Dr. Bassett reported.
Dr. Bassett was informed that the violin is one of 33 that Heinz crafted before he passed away in August of 2021 at the age of 92. According to his obituary that was published by the Higgins Home for Funerals in Watchung, Heinz’ woodworking ranged from building furniture for his family, doll furniture for his great-grandchildren and intricate violins.
During his employment with the Watchung Board of Education, he built desks for teachers while he also constructed desks for new computers, a form of his master craftsmanship that was admired by the school, which dedicated the computer lab in his honor.
Dr. Bassett was presented with the violin at the Senior Center on October 31.
And once she returned with the instrument to Bridgewater-Raritan High School, the Symphony Orchestra Concertmistress, Catherine Kong, who is a senior at the school, recorded a video playing Pachelbel’s Canon in D.
“We sent the video to Gerda and the Senior Center representatives to enjoy,” Dr. Bassett said. Gerda replied by saying ‘I would like to thank the student, Catherine, who played Pachelbel’s Canon on my husband’s violin. I believe he was a German composer. She played it beautifully.’ “
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Pachelbel’s Canon, byname of Canon and Gigue in D Major, is musical work for three violins and ground bass by German composer Johann Pachelbel, which is admired for its serene yet joyful character.
Dr. Bassett, who in her position, has received donations to the school district in the past, was honored to receive this gift that will be put to good use by the students.
“I was pleased to be a conduit to support this thoughtful donation from a member of our community,” Dr. Bassett explained. “I am grateful to Gerda and to the support from Jennifer and Lin from the Senior Center. I am pleased to know that the instrument, which was so lovingly created, will help further the musical growth for students in the Bridgewater-Raritan orchestra program.”