Ruth Boden and Her Mountaintop Cello Concerts
Swore I’d never fall in love again. Then, I read about Ruth Boden and her mountaintop cello concerts on the Appalachian Trail and elsewhere. How could a man who loves Bach and the backwoods resist?
Ruth Boden is an associate professor at the School of Music with Washington State University in the town of Pullman.
While hardcore hikers bicker over the best ways to trim mere grams of “extra” weight from their packs, my gal Ruth slaps her cello to her back and climbs mountains — to regale the valleys below with Bach’s Cello Suite #1 in G Major, BWV 1007: I Prelude, for example. [You know, the tune made famous in that pirate movie where the scruffy captain and the doctor played air-cellos.]
As part of her research project “Music Outside Four Walls,” Boden, who teaches cello, bass, chamber music, and music theory at WSU, has carried her 12-pound instrument to Northwestern mountaintops, along the Appalachian Trail, and deep inside other spaces.
She’s not the first person to hike the AT with a large instrument, but Ruth is probably the first to admit that she likes “to spoon” with her cello overnight. May her career hit new heights.
As you might know, cello players are the brunt of some pretty brutal jokes:
What is the difference between a cello and an anchor? You tie a rope to an anchor before you throw it overboard.
Why are orchestra intermissions limited to 20 minutes? So you don’t have to retrain the cellists.
Cellists never fret over such ignominies. All we have is praise for Ruth Boden and her classy concerts. If I ever meet her on the Trail, I’ll offer to share her burden. By carrying her bow.
Until then, listen to Ruth’s tale and enjoy her heavenly music.