What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

The Apostle


Andrés Segovia by Hilda Wiener

When I was a freshman in high school, I desperately wanted to join the folk group, but they didn’t need singers. (I was convinced they needed me, but they thought they probably didn’t.) My other singer friends all decided that glee club would have to be enough, but I was determined to get my foot in that door. My parents had given me a Spanish guitar for my graduation from 8th grade, but I hadn’t really done anything with it yet. I decided I would learn to play the guitar so I could get into folk group. I told them I would learn and come back. They laughed at me and presumably expected not to see me again. I bought a book of chords and convinced one of the older girls (who became a very close friend) to show me the basics of finger placement, etc. In 3 weeks, I went back to the folk group, played for them, and was admitted. (It never occurred to me that I couldn’t, so I just did.) My playing improved by leaps and bounds over that first year, and by the summer before Sophomore year, I was pretty good. My guitar bestie, MaryEllen and I spent the summer playing and singing (and winning) at talent competitions all over Long Island. The guitar (and MaryEllen) and I were inseparable.

I loved to challenge myself, so at some point I decided to teach myself classical guitar. My sheet music reading skills weren’t very good (I never really did get the hang of that), so though I learned to play a couple of pieces somewhat skillfully, my classical guitar endeavors were mostly unsuccessful. I still think of that experience as my first taste of failure. However, that period when I was struggling with classical guitar gave me a deep love of the stuff. Ever since, the classical guitar recordings by Andrés Segovia have been a big part of the soundtrack of my life. The album below was the one I played on repeat as I did my homework, read, and got ready for bed each night, and I still associate it with happy times spent in my childhood bedroom.

Segovia is the acknowledged father of classical guitar, and he performed for nearly 80 years, right up until his death at age 94. He apparently didn’t suffer from self esteem issues. After reading the review of his first concert at the age of 16, he dubbed himself “The Apostle of the Guitar.” He must have been an insufferable kid, but he wasn’t wrong. He really was that talented. The self-taught musician is also credited with inventing the nylon guitar string, which is much more stable (and palatable) than the previously-used catgut (which was not, you will be relieved to hear, actually made from cats).

You can learn more about Andrés Segovia on his Encyclopedia Britannica page.

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

12 thoughts on “The Apostle

  1. At least you tried and got somewhere… 🙂


  2. For most of my life, I have loved the Flamingo Dance. It is beautiful. Sad to read that River Dance died recently. I think Guitar is one instument that can be played in so many different ways. Hal

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful. I love the sounds of classical guitar anyway but it also reminds me of one of my late brothers who played classical guitar as a hobby. Indeed, he is strumming a guitar in the last photo we have of him.

    Also, I love little Donna. Your feisty determination and dedication were exactly the vibe of little me too. Alas, I have no musical skills but I succesfully applied that energy to other things.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I didn’t know this about you! I’m so impressed that you decided to learn to play, and did! And got into the folk group, and won talent shows. Another facet of your complex awesomeness!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: Creative Juice #328 | ARHtistic License

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