I come from a long line of Germans. Most of my family arrived in the United States in the 1850’s and settled in Northwestern Ohio. They were all farmers – clearing land, building homes, and growing crops for large families. However, I would like to share a story about the other part of my history. On my mother’s side, I am Welsh. My grandmother was a great singer, and both of her brothers had wonderful voices too. When I was younger, she told me that was their Welsh upbringing. Music and singing are historically very tied to Welsh history, and when she and her brothers got together they always sat around her piano and sang hymns and songs from the “olden days”.
Her grandfather came from Wales in the 1880’s with 5 brothers. They settled in Eastern Ohio and became coal miners, the same job that they probably had in Wales. They all, but one, had large families, and my grandmother remembers large Davis Family reunions with singing and loud, boisterous laughing. In my 20’s, I was able to travel to Wales and see the beautiful country that my ancestors had left behind for better lives for themselves and future generations. The language was strange to me, but the people were friendly and, true to form, there were music festivals at every turn.
My late grandmother cherished her piano and hoped that I would learn to play and enjoy it as much as she. I tried as a youth, but I wasn’t very committed to the idea of practice. Today, however, I am the proud owner of her beautiful piano, and plan on taking up lessons again to carry the tradition forward.
Amy is a staff member at Tacoma Community House.