The following (copyrighted) material appeared in the Dallas Morning News on April 27, 1969. Should anyone who was involved with its original publication object to its presence on the internet, please e-mail me, and I will happily remove it immediately.
Family in Full Harmony
Brahinskys Comprise Own Chamber Music Group
By FRANCIS RAFFETTO
You've heard of the young doctor being interrupted in the middle of a date and having to rush off and deliver a baby. It happened many times to Henry Brahinsky years ago when he was courting. In mid-date, his girl, Muriel Silberman, would have to grab her black bag and rush to a patient. Poor Henry would be left, dancing alone on the floor.
Now the Brahinskys have a fine, healthy family, including three sons, all violinists like their father.
"Her family were doctors, mine musicians," Brahinsky says of the SilbermansBrahinskys. They lived four blocks apart so there was a community of geography, if not personal careers.
BRAHINSKY, husky, now 51 [actually, he was 52 at the time] , is orchestra director for W. W. Samuell High School and also for Fred F. Florence Junior High. He has taught music, or rather the violin, full time since 1954. Before that, he was a career symphonic violinist who became a victim of cultural economics.
"I was on the board for the Dallas musicians local," he recalled. "We were working on the summer musicals contract and I stood on the floor and recommended a raise, a small raise. Consequently I found myself without a position, after 11 years."
Brahinsky, who smiles over it after these many years, chuckled. "The person who seconded my motion was let go too. So I decided that if society cannot back up the demands of a person representing a groupprotect his jobI must seek another area. And teaching was not a foreign field."
FORTUNATELY, Brahinsky, from Missouri, had prepared himself in another direction. He had a music degree in teaching from the University of Nebraska, so he went to the Dallas public school system.
"I had been assistant concertmaster under Jacques Singer for the Dallas Symphony, and later assistant principal for Antal Dorati and Walter Hendl," said Brahinsky. "But I entered into public school teaching with enthusiasm."
HOW IRONIC that in time, with the new age, unionism has reared its head in the field of education and teaching. And that school salaries probably have emerged much healthier than the still rather meager lot of the symphonic musician.
AT W. W. SAMUELL, Brahinsky comes in close contact with two fine young violinists, Martin Brahinsky, 18, a senior, and Gerald, 16, a sophomore. [Well, no. Martin and Gerald both attended Bryan Adams High School, not Samuell.] They are his sons.
A third son, Ricky [i.e., Eric], 13, was singled out for honors in the 1968 Dallas Symphonic Festival and is a 7th grader at S. S. Conner Junior High. [Noit was S. S. Conner Elementary School.]
The boys double in other instruments besides playing strings in Dad's [no] school orchestras. Martin plays first flute, and Gerald the baritone in the Samuell [no, Bryan Adams] band.
Martin, a husky 6-2 youth, will tour Europe this summer with the Oak Park and River Forest (Ill.) High School orchestra and has won a 4-year music scholarship at Texas Tech in Lubbock.
WHAT DOES Mrs. Brahinsky do when all four begin emitting loud strains of non-muted gut?
"Thank Goodness we have a rambling house," she smiled. "And, fortunately, Henry and the boys all have about the same musical taste. We have a big record library, but most agree on chamber music."
Said Brahinsky: "I like any music if it's good and not too loud and well played."
However, any passion the Brahinskys may have for rock-and-roll is satisfied by a nearby neighborhood group called Southwest FOB. "Especially in the summertime when they are chased out into their garage," smiled Mrs. Brahinsky.
"OUR WHOLE neighborhood abounds in musicians," said the teacher. "Lots of my students. And when our family plays chamber music, we get lots of visitors."
Mrs. Brahinsky listens fondly and could, probably, play the piano for all those strings. "Instead, I serve the refreshments," she said.
Still maintaining her medical license, she does not practice. She teaches retarded children in Angels Inc., 2860 Peavy Road.
"You can do remarkable things with these children if you have the patience and the parents cooperate," she said. "They respond to music, and we teach them simple tunes and folk dances."
Brahinsky's father, Nathan, 83, still plays his violin and especially likes his native Russian polkas. The youngest violinist, Ricky, played hooky from S. S. Conner once, but not to play football or sneak a movie. He wanted to practice a Vivaldi concerto, which he memorized in a week. A musical family, these Brahinskys.
"DALLAS PUBLIC schools have a unique advance study program," said Brahinsky. Talented pupils are given special after hours lessons, at no fee, with the school district picking up the tab. "A talented student thus gets his opportunity regardless of social or economic status," he said.
Brahinsky is proud of some of his former students: Jack Glatzer, 28 [actually, he was 30 at the time], concert violinist and concertmaster for the Rotterdam Symphony; Keith Howard, concert violinist.
"Some of my students are teaching now, or playing in symphony orchestras," said Brahinsky. "I am very proud of our school district's programwhy, we can and do field a fine symphony orchestra composed entirely of teachers."
THE VIOLIN student today is as dedicated as yesterday's, and respects his teacher as much, if the latter is talented, Brahinsky believes. And there is an ever expanding opportunity for musicians, with a shortage of capable performers and teachers, he said.
You can put your mind at rest about one tradition for the beginning violin pupil.
"Yes," smiled Brahinsky. "They still grind out 'Melody in F' and 'Minuet in G.' Some things never change."
A photograph accompanied the article, with the following caption:
Unfortunately, Nathan Brahinsky, 83, was not present for this family picture of violinists, even though he is still a lively player of Russian polkas. Music teacher father, Henry Brahinsky and Mrs. Brahinsky are proud of sons (from left) Ricky 13, Martin 18, and Gerald 16. The boys play other instruments, too. Mrs. Brahinsky, who holds a doctor of medicine degree, plays the piano.
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