Martinsville, Virginia


When combat boots and folk dances are the path to a Chamber music recital

In the upcoming chamber music recital, an Afternoon of Dances, two performers will come together in an unlikely combination to perform a piece that the ensemble’s coordinator Deborah Burgess describes as “one of the hardest and most unique pieces in the recital.” The musical backgrounds of chamber music performers Regula Dailey and Robert Moody are unique and dissimilar, but on September 13, the unexpected pair will unite their musical experiences to produce the Tarantella Saint-Saens Opus 6.

In a culture of music

From infancy, Regula Dailey was surrounded by the swells of shared music and dancing which was the norm in Schwyz, a tiny village 25 miles outside of Lucerne, Switzerland. Her village hosted huge band competitions and folk music festivals. Additionally, Regula’s dad was a “Tanzleiter,” a folk dance choreographer and teacher. As such, making music and sharing music was simply a part of life for Dailey.

When Dailey was in the second grade, she eagerly began taking recorder lessons at school, and even when the lessons were no longer mandated, she wouldn’t stop. After four years of playing the recorder, she could no longer find a teacher. But that did not stop Dailey from participating in the culture of music she was surrounded by.

The natural course

Around this same time, Robert Moody was taking his first music lessons at an elementary school in Virginia Beach.  Unlike Dailey, Moody was not inspired by a deeply-rooted musical culture nor was he spurred into music by any unique experience. Rather, Moody found perusing music like breathing – so natural that nothing else seemed appropriate.  He flowed from one music class to the next led on by his own aptitude until he found himself in college at Shenandoah University studying Music Education. By the time Moody was 34 years old, he had completed his coursework and was about to graduate with a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Clarinet Performance.

Whisked away

At 11 years old, Regula Dailey began to learn the flute. Although she had been loath to put away her recorder, Dailey quickly discovered she had an even deeper passion for the flute and for the world of classical music the flute enabled her to explore.

For 14 years, Dailey played her flute and cultivated her love of classical music, until she was wooed away from Switzerland and into matrimony by her American pen pal. Newly married and now immersed in the American culture of busyness and headphones Dailey put away her flute until she could find a group to play with.

From concert black to camouflage

Around this same time, Moody also made a drastic life change. At 34 years of age on the cusp of receiving his doctorate, Moody quit school and became part of the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command Band. The followings years spent in the military, which included a year stationed in Uijeongbu, South Korea, were challenging, but also very rewarding. “In no other job, as a musician, are you paid every day just to get up, practice, and play music,” Moody reminisced fondly.

After three years, Moody left the service and settled down with his wife in Martinsville, VA teaching music in Stanleytown Elementary. Although he liked the small town in with its rich histories and awakening cultural awareness, Moody longed to find a place to practice his craft again. When Deborah Burgess, coordinator of the chamber music ensemble contacted Moody with a proposition to join the newly formed ensemble, he enthusiastically volunteered.

A return to music

For nearly 10 years, through homeschooling four children, becoming an American citizen and moving from Colorado to Virginia, Dailey never got the chance to reconnect with her flute. Then, in 2005 she began playing at church. A few years later she began to play occasionally for weddings, and from that time on, she began to find many opportunities to keep playing including several recitals with the chamber ensemble coordinator Burgess.

The partnership is formed

Moody and Dailey met during the chamber music performance in May of this year. Moody, who had a habit of looking for potential future duet and trio partners during performances, noticed Dailey’s capability.

“Regula sounded great [so …] I started researching pieces we could play together.  The Saint-Saens Opus 6, trio for Flute, Clarinet and Piano was just too tasty to pass up and I sent her links to check it out.” Moody recalled.

Dailey was excited to hear such a unique piece and for the opportunity to perform again. Of course, she agreed. For the entire summer, Dailey and Moody have been preparing.

Dailey laughed as she reminisced over the work she put in this summer. “My family has the piece memorized by heart now.”

Now Moody and Dailey are ready to perform what Burgess described as “one of the hardest and most unique pieces in the recital” on September 13 in the 3rd Chamber Music Recital: An Afternoon of Dances.