Skip to comments.Rice Plays With Soprano at Kennedy Center
Posted on 06/12/2005 3:34:11 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz
WASHINGTON (June 11) - A musician long before she became an academic and then a world-famous diplomat, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took to the Kennedy Center concert stage Saturday to accompany a young soprano battling an often-fatal disease.
Rice's rare and unpublicized appearance at the piano marked a striking departure from her routine as America's No. 1 diplomat.
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That's a good one - thanks!
"When I first moved to California in 1981 to join the faculty at Stanford, there were a lot of years when I was not attending church regularly. I was traveling a lot. I was a specialist in international politics, so I was always traveling abroad. I was always in another time zone. One Sunday I was in the Lucky's Supermarket not very far from my house - I will never forget - among the spices and an African-American man walked up to me and said he was buying some things for his church picnic. And he said, "Do you play the piano by any chance?"
I said, "Yes." They said they were looking for someone to play the piano at church. It was a little African-American church right in the center of Palo Alto. A Baptist church. So I started playing for that church. That got me regularly back into churchgoing. I don't play gospel very well - I play Brahms - and you know how black ministers will start a song and the musicians will pick it up? I had no idea what I was doing and so I called my mother, who had played for Baptist churches.
"Mother," I said, "they just start. How am I supposed to do this?" She said, "Honey, play in C and they'll come back to you." And that's true. If you play in C, people will come back. I tell that story because I thought to myself, "My goodness, God has a long reach." I mean, in the Lucky's Supermarket on a Sunday morning.
I played for about six months for them and then I decided to go and find the Presbyterian Church again...more