Labor of love

Musician/artist brings book to life

Kristine Papillon, photography by Ellie Bogue

Kristine Papillon was 9 when she first began playing the violin. Always drawn to the arts, she loved to paint pictures and enjoyed all aspects of creativity, but the violin clearly spoke to her.

“I loved the sound of it. I thought it was the most beautiful, the most versatile instrument and the one that sounded most like a singing voice.”

Growing up in downstate New York, she began taking her studies seriously as she got to high school. She said no matter what was going on in her life, she could “always hold onto my violin, my painting, my art.” An opportunity to play at the Tanglewood Music Festival further inspired her to pursue music professionally, and she earned her degree in violin performance at the New England Conservatory in Boston.

Papillon says she’s “always liked the idea of giving people beautiful music to listen to,” and in recent years she has been able to do that with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Having moved around due to her husband’s job (including a few years in England), Papillon enjoys sharing music for a variety of reasons.

“I first began playing with the Philharmonic in 2006, and then returned when we came back from England. I love the chance to play beautiful music, and since I home-school my three children, it’s like a vacation for me to play with other musicians!”

Papillon has also put her love of painting and art to good use through a new project which has fulfilled a longtime dream and also provides a unique fundraising effort for the Philharmonic’s education programs. Her book, “Crumpet the Trumpet,” was released this past winter and features the adventures of a little trumpet while teaching children about the instruments of a symphony orchestra. The book features Papillon’s lush and colorful art and is “an absolute labor of love.”

“I came to write it because my first son had a hard time going to sleep, and I was always looking for ways to help settle him down. I was inspired by all of the music that I heard, especially a double trumpet concerto featuring Wynton Marsalis. The trumpets sounded like a mother teaching her baby to sing, and it inspired the story of Crumpet.”

The book already has a website (crumpetthetrumpet.com) which features coloring pages and educational materials and will soon also have apps for both iPhones and Android devices. She says she hopes that her earnest little trumpet can help spread her love of symphonies.

“I would love to see Crumpet become an ambassador for classical music.”

First appeared in the May 2015 issue of Fort Wayne Magazine.


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