July 31, 2012 05:00
"The friendships have been amazing - our connections have been amazing." Dr. Gerald and Geraldine Hubbell have been practicing their speech every day. On Friday during a luncheon of Sigma Alpha Iota's 46th convention, held this year in Atlanta, the Lafayette couple will deliver that speech - "Music and Medicine: Prescription for a Healthy and Happy Marriage." The Hubbells are this year's convention honorees, a rare distinction for an international women's music fraternity that meets only every three years.

"We were really shocked when they nominated us," Geraldine admits. "But we're thrilled - we thought we were getting an Emmy or an Oscar nomination."

The former executive director of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra for a decade, Geraldine is an accomplished, professional piano accompanist who has performed with violinists Endre Balogh, Eugene Fodor, Xiao Lu Li  and Daniel Phillips; violist  Gilad Karni, and  singers Brian Schexnayder, Elizabeth Futral, Ruth Falcon, Brenda Boozer, Martha Ann Thigpen, Peter Lightfoot, Joseph Wolverton, Wanda Brister, Patricia Woodard, David Bernard, and Susan Straley. This fall she will accompany heralded Hungarian violinist Gyula Stuller for an ASO recital. She's been active in SAI for more than a half century.

"The friendships have been amazing - our connections have been amazing," Geraldine says of their affiliation with the fraternity.

Gerald eschewed a career in music - he studied bassoon - for a career in medicine and is affectionately known as "the humming doctor" by staff and patients at University Medical Center where he teaches. He was awarded the honorary title of Friend of the Arts by Sigma Alpha Iota 30 years ago and has attended conventions with Geraldine ever since, serving as the sound archivist - using a reel-to-reel tape recorder no less! - for SAI convention performances.

The Hubbells have been married for 53 years; their speech Friday will highlight a long marriage punctuated by music. As a couple they've been huge supporters of the arts in Lafayette for decades - especially music. Jokes Geraldine: "It's not just a passion, it's an illness."

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