Gifford Youth Orchestra

More violins - Better Tomorrows


         Tribute in poetry




Myra Brooks Welch  (1878-1950)


“Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer

Thought it scarcely worth his while

To waste much time on the old violin,

But held it up with a smile.

“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,

“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”

“A dollar, a dollar. Then two! Only two?

Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?”

“Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;

Going for three…” But no,

From the room, far back, a grey-haired man

Came forward and picked up the bow;

Then wiping the dust from the old violin,

And tightening the loosened strings,

He played a melody pure and sweet,

As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,

With a voice that was quiet and low,

Said: “What am I bid for the old violin?”

And he held it up with the bow.

“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?

Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?

Three thousand, once; three thousand, twice,

And going and gone,” said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried,

“We do not quite understand.

What changed its worth?” Swift came the reply:

“The touch of the Master’s hand.”

And many a man with life out of tune,

And battered and scarred with sin,

Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd

Much like the old violin.

A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine,

A game — and he travels on.

He is “going” once, and “going” twice,

He’s “going” and almost “gone.”

But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd

Never can quite understand

The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought

By the touch of the Master’s hand.” 





Dr. Bonny's Last Violin Class With Her First GYO Student

It Was a Day to Remember . . . 











Erin Starks, Helen's granddaughter,  with Helen and Sukesha.. According to her Mom, Bea, Erin was especially close to Helen. You can see it in her face.



       A GIFT FROM HER  daughter Bea Stone

Bea!  Dr. Helen Bonny's daughter!  I remember you, of course!

How wonderful to hear from you.

Your Mom was extremely influential in our early years.

We were deeply blessed with her volunteer services as a teacher, mentor, and counsellor.  During her time with us, I was so unaware of who she was or why she even sought us out to offer her time and expertise.  Initially, I did not know what a "crown jewel" had come to bless us, until much later. 


We spent several afternoons at her apartment, which she always kept gardenias fragrantly filling the room as we enjoyed tea and conversation.  Oh, Bea, the Gifford Youth Orchestra, and I were so blessed by the caring essence of Dr. Helen Lindquist Bonny!  


This photo, from May 19, 2010, is of Sukesha Crosdale and your Mom.  She is checking out Sukesha's new violin.  Sukesha was your Mom's first student when she began volunteering with the GYO.  We took several photos of this precious visit. 


So, Bea, our board meets on January 28th.  I will find out if we can pursue this sale.

I want to say, "Yes, we would be happy to be the recipient of her bow and violin case," but I am still learning that such decisions need to be approved by our board.  However, I can say, Yes, I will  call you to arrange a time to meet and chat!"




Blessings, blessings, blessings to you,

And thank you for reconnecting the Bonny legacy to the Gifford Youth Orchestra.




The bow created a college tuition fund

We sold the bow to 

We voted yes!

We created a Fund for our next 4 High School Seniors as they Graduate and continue their education.



..                                                    Obituary

Helen Lindquist Bonny, 89, died May 25, 2010, at VNA Hospice House, Vero Beach. She was born in Rockford, Ill., and lived in Vero Beach. She was a graduate of Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, the University of Kansas and Union Institute & University, Cincinnati. She was a violinist for 82 years. She taught music, performed with orchestras and in string quartets and was concertmaster of the Salina, Kan., Symphony Orchestra. She was an author, educator, researcher and pioneer in music therapy. She developed the "Bonny Method" of guided imagery and music, training therapists in experiencing classical music as a vehicle for psychological and spiritual transformation. She was director of music therapy at Catholic University, Washington, D.C., created the Institute for Consciousness and Music in Baltimore and The Bonny Foundation for Music-Centered Therapies in Salina. She was a member of The Community Church, United Church of Christ, Vero Beach. Survivors include her daughter, Beatrice Stoner of Vero Beach; sons, Erich Bonny of Woodstock, Md., and Francis Bonny of Teaneck, N.J.; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to The Community Church, 1901 21st St., Vero Beach, FL 32960. Services: A memorial service will be at a later date. Arrangements for cremation are by Strunk Funeral Home, Vero Beach.

Published in the TC Palm on May 29, 2010