Who is Silvia? What is she,
That all our swains commend her?
Holy, fair, and wise is she;
The heaven such grace did lend her,
That she might admirèd be.
Will Shakespeare never had the chance meet my friend Sylvia Patterson-Scott who helped me to write The Gospel According to George, but I'd like to introduce her to you. Sylvia and I met in 1983, when my family was preparing to move to Mozambique (see my bio page). She and her husband, Beverly, a violist with the Indianapolis Symphony, had joined my home church in Indianapolis. They invited us—the missionaries—for dinner and, to our great delight after our years in Brazil, served Costa Rican black beans and rice.
Sylvia had been a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica, supporting the country as they established a national symphony orchestra. Bev also played with the symphony. With our mutual interests in the Lord, music, and cross-cultural living, we immediately hit it off. When we returned to Indy to live in 1999, I had an instant friend only a few blocks away.
For many years Sylvia was First-Call Principal Keyboard with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, although she insists her husband is the better pianist. She has performed with the ISO on piano, harpsichord, celesta, and organ, recording with former ISO conductor Raymond Leppard and playing in many broadcasts with him, former ISO Music Director Mario Venzago, and current conductor Krzysztof Urbanski. She has performed as solo pianist, harpsichordist, and Baroque organist, with the ISO, the Carmel Symphony Orchestra, and elsewhere as well as duo-pianist with her husband Beverly and with the Scott Chamber Players, consisting of Bev, (viola); Sylvia (piano); his brother, Perry (cello); and sister-in-law, Lisa (violin). Both their sons also play string instruments. Did I mention it's a musical family?
Until her recent retirement, Sylvia taught piano and coached professional singers and talented young chamber musicians, privately and at top music schools in Indiana. She avidly supports the performance of early music, and is recent past president of the Indianapolis Early Music Festival, the nation's longest continually running early music festival.
Sylvia’s passion for music and for her faith made her an ideal partner for writing The Gospel According to George. Although I love choral music and have searched out quality music groups to sing with when possible, I do not have Sylvia’s training or her ear. It was a delight to hear her enthuse over each movement of Messiah as she pointed out the musical tools Handel used to portray the gospel story he wanted to tell. We have shared many ups and downs over the years; with this shared literary child, we have even more to bring us together.
In the late fall of 2020 Sylvia was diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer, metastasized to numerous other parts of her body. The cancer was spotted so late because it was masked by scar-tissue from a previous bout with cancer, long cured. Her attitude of trust in God and excitement to soon see face to face the Messiah we had been writing about has been an inspiration to me and to many. I cannot thank her enough for the hard work and many hours between doctor's appointments that she put into completing this project.
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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