An Unexpected Heirloom

Grandfather Panter McIlvain’s fiddle

Several years ago, I found out that my musical heritage dates back to my Grandpa Scheer’s grandfather. Apparently Granfather Panter McIlvain played the fiddle in a country band, performing for dances and parties in his town. He passed on his violin to his grandson, Harold, who gave it to his own children to learn.

Harold and Ruth Scheer

For many years it has hung in a prominent place in the Scheer home, looking from above on aspiring new violinists. Now I smile as my seven-year-old daughter and three-year-old son clutch their own violins, holding them under their chins. Perhaps they will be the sixth generation to espouse this talent, giving it their own spin as their predecessors have done.

Rachmaninoff was right, “a lifetime is not enough for music.” The musical heritage of a Midwestern violinist still lives on a century later through the songs of his descendants.

In memory of Grandfather Harold Scheer (1922—2016), and Grandmother Ruth Scheer (1926-2022).

In this chapter of A Change in Tune, GG gives an heirloom violin to Victoria, in hopes that it might be useful for her upcoming audition. However, after a trip to the luthier shop, Victoria still doesn’t know its true background. Stay tuned to follow the journey of her antique violin!