Hello From South Africa, Nicolette!

Editor’s Note: this post if from Mary Cay.  It is written especially for Nicolette Solomon, a fellow Suzuki Teacher, originally from South Africa but now living in the U.S.  Of course, we are all invited to read and enjoy too.  

By Mary Cay Neal.  Hello From South Africa, Nicolette!  We are having a wonderful time in your beautiful country!  People are so friendly and welcoming.  Everywhere we go people on the street say “We’re glad you are here – enjoy and come back!”
It was especially fun to finally meet your Johannesburg/Pretoria Suzuki teacher friends in person.  As you can see from the photos, I delivered those hugs from you!  They planned a warm welcome in a beautiful concert hall complete with “Tea” after our rehearsal and South African food for supper.  Our BSS students enjoyed swapping stories with the SA students during suppertime.   
We were inspired to give our gift of music then play together with the SA students – a real friendship exchange of over 125 students and teachers, playing together.  Thank you Dr. Suzuki for giving us a common repertoire that allows us to collaborate so easily!   I felt like he was smiling down on us and saying: This is my vision – that children all over the world play music together!”
Thank you, Nicolette, for bringing us together in friendship!

7 thoughts on “Hello From South Africa, Nicolette!

  • Mary Cay, this made my day. I have been following your blog every day! I suppose you know that I was the first trained Suzuki teacher in South Africa and pioneered the whole movment there, so this is terribly important to me. I was so moved to hear your kids play our National Anthem too. It meant a lot to me and I am sure, to all my South African friends. Have you met with Maria Botha and Titia Blake yet? PLEASE, huge hugs there too. I can’t wait to speak with you when you get back. Thank you for this huge undertaking. Words cannot express my joy. Much love, Nicolette

    • Hi Nicolette! We did indeed meet Maria and Titia yesterday, and Mary Cay passed along your hugs! We had a wonderful joint concert, and it was so inspiring to see our students play together with children who had traveled from all over the Cape Town area. Many new friendships have been made along with music. Sorry there have been no pictures on the blog lately, we are having a difficult time with the wifi at our hotel in Cape Town, and we’ve been lucky to be able to post text alone. When we get home we’ll share many pictures and videos!


  • I love it!
    Your blogs have been fantastic. We continue to look forward to reading them each day. What an adventure this has been for you all. THANK YOU, Mrs, Neal (& ALL chaperones) for all of your hard work and dedication in making this happen for our children. You are the best!

  • Mary Cay and Nicolette: Reading your messages brings to the forefront the true meaning for BSS to go on a tour. Thank you!

  • Mary Cay,
    Congratulations on 46 years of promoting World Harmony Through Music in the spirit of Dr. Suzuki (on six continents)! Awesome accomplishment! Bravo!!

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