Publikasie: The Ring Bearer
Deur: Mart-Marie Snyman

When I work with artists from Europe, they always have the same question. Where are all the wild animals? Well, they are everywhere. And they come at you when you least expect. In South Africa we call this “the ultimate musician test”.

It was a Monday afternoon. I was hired to play piano for a wedding. There were 8 guests (including me and the preacher). Odd to say the least. I played the usual wedding repertoire, including Bach C Maj prelude as requested for the ring bearer.

Suddenly, without warning, a full grown cheetah walked past me with the rings in her mouth. No leash. No guide. I didn’t miss a note. Everyone in the room looked stunned (except the bride and groom). Obviously one of those “this will make YOUR wedding completely unique” marketing schemes to promote the incredible tacky venue. The reality of it was more “this will scare the crap out of your guests and will make them question your morals”.

I quickly assessed the situation, and realized the piano will not give me much protection. I struggled through the piece while my mind raced to think of escape plans. Luckily, after the groom hesitantly took the rings out of the cheetah’s mouth, she turned around and walked straight towards me. She locked eyes with me and gave me a look. THAT look. A look that said: “I am considering eating you, because you are the smallest here, and I’m really bored bringing in rings for stupid weddings. Also, I don’t fancy Bach’s music. I am more a jazz-kind-of-girl.”

I slowly played the last cadence, praying that this was not MY last cadence. Finally, a guide came in behind me and took her away. My heart was racing. The wedding party supposedly “forgot” to tell me they had a cheetah as a ring bearer. I thought it to be the ultimate musician test. And I am glad to say I passed. Years of classical training and strict teachers prevailed.

Dear European artists, apparently we DO have wild animals everywhere, even in churches on a Monday afternoon

Mart-Marie Snyman