Notes in the Life and Career of Gerrie Collins

Soul to Soul:

An Open Love Letter to Gerrie from Elizabeth

About the Music

I fairly saturated this film with music, and I think Gerrie would have approved of my choices . . . except for the fact that she is the one performing most of the pieces.:-)

It’s not hard to spot her recordings since they originated from old reel-to-reel tapes, complete with the diminished frequency response, tape noise, and warble you might expect. However her musical brilliance still shines through, even in the excerpts from her audition tape for Oberlin Conservatory, recorded when she was just 18 years old (the snippet of her Revolutionary Etude gives an idea of the technique she had even at that age.)

Passages from stage performances of the following also appear in the film:

  • Piano Sonata in E Major, Op. 109 – Beethoven
  • Suite Espanola – Albeniz
  • Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue – Bach
  • Nocturne in F# Major – Chopin
  • Sarabande in D minor – Bach
  • Nocturne in D-flat Major – Chopin
  • Ondine from Gaspard de la nuit – Ravel
  • Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu – Bach


Above and beyond anything I have to say about her in the film, I wanted Gerrie’s own musical prowess to express her core beauty–who she really was most fundamentally and immutably, and I think these inclusions achieve that.

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Want to Honor Dr. Collins?

To support the Gerrie Collins Endowed Piano Scholarship, visit the Mississippi State University Foundation giving page, and use the search box to quickly locate the fund. Alternatively, you can print and fill out the pdf form, specifying the fund name on the appropriate lines, and mail it to the Foundation with a check.

Thank you so much for your help!