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David Hornberger

In June 2012 I started cello shopping. Having just finished my postgrad at the Royal Northern College of Music, I knew that, in a few months time, I would have to give back the lovely cello they had loaned to me for the past two years. I knew that the next instrument I purchased would be a serious investment, and I could only stop cello shopping when I’d found the one. I’d been trying out various cellos over the course of the 2011-2012 academic year, and I had yet to come across an instrument that made me not want to put it down. So, we arrive at September and I’ve given the cello back to the RNCM. I had been to Cardiff Violins once before and loved it – it was back in 2010 when I just popped in for a nose (I ended up trying some cellos then too!), and I was excited by the fact I could go there again! I was due to be working in Cardiff around mid-September, so sent an email to Cécile asking if I could come and try out some cellos whilst I was down there. “We would be very happy to meet you and show you our cellos”, she said! Brilliant, I was going to Cardiff Violins!

Cécile was a tremendous help; she had prepared many cellos that suited my budget, so when I arrived they were all perfectly tuned and ready for me. There were two girls who also assisted me; they brought fresh coffee and gave me a selection of bows for me to try. This was a brilliant thing to do as not all bows suit all cellos, so they gave me the freedom to find an instrument that would shine. So there I sat, well catered for, for 2 hours! Time flies… I asked to not know the prices of the cellos because sometimes this can get in the way of finding an instrument that you like when you have a budget.

And then that moment came. I had found the one! A cello by the Scottish maker, Colin Adamson, made in 2006. It was brilliant. I loved the sound, the feel and even the look! As much as looks shouldn’t really matter, it’s always a bonus if your chosen instrument is pleasant on the eye! It was beautiful in every way. After I had tried all the cellos, Cécile insisted that I take the Adamson away to try – I was immediately very fond of it! Cécile contacted me over the next week to see how I was getting on and I told her how I just had to have it. It was at the top end of my budget, but I didn’t care… I would find a way! I assured Cécile that I would definitely be purchasing the Adamson, but unfortunately hit brick wall after brick wall when investigating loans/grants/scholarships etc.. What was a horrible few weeks of decline after decline, eventually turned into a success! I cannot thank Cécile and Chris enough for their patience and continued optimism in my search for funding. They were also extremely generous to lend me a case for the whole time, and I cannot explain how warming it is to have a shop be on your side; they wanted me to have the Adamson as much as I did!

So now I have a cello which I’m very proud to own, and it’s all thanks to Cécile and Chris really. Next time I’m in Cardiff I’ll be popping into Cardiff Violins – not to try out cellos for 2 hours, but instead to have a catch up with the lovely friends that I made during my time spent at Cardiff Violins; although, I guess I’ll be the one making the coffee this time!