William Fitzpatrick - violin expert

The Many Stories of Bill Fitzpatrick: How I started the violin.

Learn more about William Fitzpatrick and his life as a violinist

In this first video of a new series of short videos titled "The Many Stories of Bill Fitzpatrick," Prof. Fitzpatrick tells you how he started playing the violin.

Released on October 6, 2021

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Video Transcription

Robert Holmes, a black educator and jazz saxophonist in Nashville, introduced me to the violin in 1958. He came to my elementary school fourth-grade class and asked, "Who would like to learn to play a stringed instrument?" I nudged my buddy, Wesley, and said, "If we raise our hands, we're out of here."

And so after passing an ear-training test, I started learning how to play the violin. Canvassing all the black schools in Nashville with the same question, he built the Cremona String Ensemble. Later, he asked me to join the group and my grandmother would drive me and my neighbor, Patty, to rehearsals on Saturdays. We would practice our parts in the back seat. In fact, this was the only practicing I did. Anyways, later, he nicknamed me FitzP.
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