Just in: Clarinet saves life as conductor suffers rehearsal heart attack

The second clarinet saw it happening and acted fast. Dr Sheri Rolf, who is a medical practitioner at the Billings Clinic, recognised the signs of a heart attack as conductor Gordon Johnson started to sweat and sway during rehearsal with the Great Falls Symphony, in Montana. Here’s what happened next.



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  • Sheri Rolf is a terrific person. I had the pleasure of meeting her at the International Clarinet Association’s annual ClarinetFest a few years ago, when she presented an excellent paper on a method she has developed for optimal hand position on the clarinet. Well done, Dr. Rolf!!

  • Sherri and I were colleagues in the operating rooms in Billings, Montana, for many years. Always a delight to work with, she is a multiply-talented, civic-minded, delightful musician/physician.

  • I don’t know Dr. Rolf personally, but well done on her part!

    I’ve worked under Maestro Johnson on numerous occasions. He’s an absolutely fabulous conductor, and I’m really glad this story had a happy ending!

  • Thank all of you so much for your kind words.

    I’m happy to report that Maestro Gordon Johnson is doing extremely well.

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