Jane Little died like a warrior on the field of valor, clutching her bow so firmly that it had actually to be pried from her cold fingers. Her field was the phase of the Atlanta Symphony, where she had actually played the bass from the age of sixteen up until she slumped in the middle of a performance, last year, at eighty-seven, having actually won a title that she had long coveted: the American musician with the longest period in any orchestra.
Valor takes numerous types. Little defied the expectations for a Southern female of her generation and upbringing. She had asked her mama and papa for piano lessons, but they couldn’t pay for a piano. A music instructor needed a bass gamer for the high-school band, so Little took up the bass. When she signed up with the Atlanta orchestra, during the nineteen-forties, many male musicians had actually been prepared; after the war, the females who had actually kept their chairs warm were dismissed to keep home. Little resisted the pressure to resign, despite the fact that, as she informed a pal, she comprehended that having kids could cost her job.
She wed Warren Little, a flutist, and the two never had kids. However, after his death, Jane embarked with gusto on a solo act. “When Warren died, the gloves came off,” Michael Kenady, a fellow-bassist, said. She began dressing like a country-music star–” in skintight blue jeans with the sequins all over them. At her age?” Kenady marvelled. Her cravings for risk wasn’t just sartorial. She generated a portfolio of lucrative residential or commercial properties, played the market, and even more invested her payouts (with the periodic splurge on, say, a Jaguar). However the message of this late flamboyance wasn’t lost on Ellie Kosel, a 2nd violinist. Jane, she stated simply, “was complimentary.”
A double bass is about 6 feet from scroll to endpin: it’s the size of a bearish man. Little and her bass were an attractive couple. In all of her pictures, with or without an instrument– the spunky little lady in pigtails, the young beauty in a frilly gown, the fifties bombshell, the red-hot mother– Little radiates the infectious vitality of a virtuoso at living. Ardor is also a type of valor.
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We will miss Jane Little but your legacy will always be remembered.