The host, originally from the Northeast but who has since made South Florida his home, was organizing an intimate gathering in honor of his beautiful wife. When he and I spoke on the phone, he mentioned that he was looking for a solo flutist to entertain the guests with classical music at the start of the luncheon.
In addition to classical music, he also specially requested French ballads. Why? A week after the luncheon, his wife was traveling to France with their daughter and granddaughter -- who would be seeing Paris for the first time.
To prepare for this occasion, I began familiarizing myself with the most famous French ballads. I started with "La Vie en Rose", and soon discovered the beauty of "La Bohème", "L'Hymne à L'amour", "Les Feuilles Mortes", and other deeply moving songs. To add contrast, I prepared the popular and light "Les Copains D'abord".
In addition to French ballads, I also played all-time beloved melodies, including "Greensleeves", "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", and "The Way You Look Tonight".
As guests arrived and mingled inside the clubhouse, they were delighted to hear their favorite songs. The staff of the Broken Sound Country Club was very friendly and helpful, bringing me glasses of water and making sure I had a table and comfortable chair. After about half an hour, the staff helped me to move everything into the dining room, where I continued to play while the guests enjoyed their meal.
It was a pleasure to provide music for this sophisticated, Parisian-themed birthday luncheon. I hope the guest of honor and her daughter and granddaughter had an unforgettable trip to France. Here, I'm reminded of a quote by Audrey Hepburn - "Paris is always a good idea."