The sinking feeling that hit Scott Lykins when he discovered his $40,000 cello was stolen was hard to put into words.
“It was pretty awful,” the artistic director of the Brainerd area’s Lakes Area Music Festival said Tuesday in a phone interview from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Lykins, a 2004 graduate of Brainerd High School, was minutes away from boarding a flight to Rochester, N.Y., where he was planning to audition for the New World Symphony in Miami with a borrowed cello. The theft, discovered in the early morning hours of March 10, also means that he’ll audition for his “dream job” with the Minnesota Orchestra at the end of April, with a borrowed cello. The cello is insured, but he was disappointed he would not have it available for his auditions. He hoped to have a replacement cello by this summer’s Lake Area Music Festival.
Lykins, 26, said he rarely leaves his cello in the car for very long. He also said the vehicle could have been unlocked because it was his father’s SUV and he was unfamiliar with the lock system.
“Typically, I’m careful,” he said.
The BHS grad bought this cello in 2007. He has played the instrument since he was 12.
The night the theft took place Lykins was celebrating his recent 26th birthday with friends.
The Lakes Area Music Festival, a popular music series in the Brainerd area, was started by Lykins in 2009. He said the musicians include students from music conservatories and members of the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
His father owns Pinehurst Resort on Gull Lake. Lykins earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester.
MIKE O’ROURKE may be reached at mike.orourke@brainerddispatch or 855-5860. He may be followed on Twitter at MikeORourkenews.