Saturday, May 29, 2010

2nd European Union Chorale Competition

My desire to expand the scope of music performances that I see led me to the Far Eastern University campus once again this time to see the 2nd European Union Choral Competition. The atmosphere for this one was a lot different from the other performances that I’ve seen since there was the tension, drama and excitement inherent during competitions.

I was glad that I came there not connected to any of the competing choirs so not rooting for anyone made me a muched relaxed audience member. And this enabled me to watch more attentively not just the choirs but how the audience inside the FEU Auditorium reacted as well.

There were nine competing choirs and in the order of performance, they were:

PUP Bagong Himig Serenata
Conductor: Mr. Emil Cruz

Coro San Benildo
Conductor: Mr. Lorenzo Gealogo

University of the Philippines Medicine Choir
Conductor: Mr. Ginoo Karlo Galvez Tan

First Asia Minstrels
Conductor: Mr. Eric Kalaw

University of Asia and the Pacific Chorale
Conductor: Mr. Danny Monte

Mapua Institute of Technology - Cardinal Chamber Singers
Conductor: Prof. Angelito Ayran Jr.

University of the Philippines Los Baños Chorale Ensemble
Conductor: Mr. Vonn Lomarda

Tarlac State University Chorale
Conductor: Mr. Aris Madrid

De La Salle University (Dasmariñas) Chorale
Conductor: Mr. Vell Luis Litan

The choirs were required to perform two songs. One was a piece composed by someone who came from a member country of the European Union. And other piece had to be by a Filipino composer and it didn’t matter if the lyrics to that piece were in another language like Latin or Japanese.

A non-competing highschool choir, the Cavite Institute Chorale, performed as a breather from the competition after the first five choirs performed. And they definitely pleased the crowd since they sang popular tunes Isang Bangka by the Dawn and Tatsulok by Bamboo. And while the judges were conferring to come up with the winners, all of the choirs performed on stage a medley of pop songs and show tunes.

The song Jaglied by Joseph von Einchendorff was a popular song choice since the last three choirs had it as their European Union song piece. And there were more than just whispers coming from the audience when they kept on recognizing the tune. I don’t know how the other choirs can handle that kind of pressure knowing that others were performing the same song.

The 2nd runner up was the De La Salle University (Dasmariñas) Chorale. Their conductor Vell Luis Litan also bagged the best conductor prize. The 1st runner up prize went to Tarlac State University Chorale. And the winner of the 2nd European Union Chorale Competition was University of the Philippines Los Baños Chorale Ensemble. It pleased me a lot when this choir won since I thought that they were the forerunners right after they finished their performance.

2nd European Union Chorale Competition Grand Champion
University of the Philippines Los Baños Chorale Ensemble

It was not only a delight to watch this choral competition but I was also able to see again some of the kids that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing during the open rehearsal of the Israeli pianists about a month before this. I guess that I’ll be seeing them a lot more in months to come since FEU has quite a number of music/cultural events lined up.


Now, it’s back to the regular entries involving my experiences in watching classical music performances. There have been a few performances that happened over the last few weeks but I wasn’t able to see them. But now, I’m back with an entry about the performance of Gerry Graham Gonzales whose recital during the PREDIS Young Artists Recital Series I also failed to see. Since then, I made it a point to somehow make it up to him and that I did when I caught his latest performance entitled Fingerdance which was held at the GSIS Museum.

As I’ve said before, I’m not that knowledgeable about the cello and I wasn’t jumping for joy when I saw his first pieces for the concert: Suite No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009 by Johann Sebastian Bach and Rondo in C Major by Luigi Boccherini. I admit that these pieces are unfamiliar to me. The same could be said by the third piece which was David Popper’s Gnometanz, Op. 50 No. 2. I felt that he started a bit cold during the Bach but somehow got his pace with the Boccherini and the Popper piece which has a more upbeat tempo. By the way, except for the first piece, Gonzales was accompanied by Jourdann Petalver at the piano.

For the second half of the program, Gerry was joined by Sara Maria Gonzales on the violin for the piece Passacaglia duo for violin and cello by Georg Frideric Handel and Johan Halvorsen. This was followed by Antonin Dvořák’s Rondo in G Minor, Op. 94 and lastly by Peter Tchaikovsky’s Pezzo Capriccioso and accompanying him on the piano was Petalver once again.

I was glad to finally see Gonzales perform but this performance was light weight compared to his recital a month before where he had an orchestra backing him up. The performance in this intimate setting was very relaxed compared to the other performances that I’ve been too. And I guess that things actually got too relaxed that some mistakes were made especially at the Passacaglia. But overall, this is one of the concerts where one just could sit and relax, get away from the summer heat and enjoy a music performance. And a nice bonus is a chance to view the art pieces on display at the museum which I did before the performance started.

Fingerdance is actually a part of the GSIS Museum Thursday Concert Series which is held every second and last Thursday of the month from January to November. Surprisingly, this was my first time to see a concert from this series but this certainly won’t be my last.

Cellist Gerry Graham Gonzales

Thursday, May 27, 2010

DC Comics 75th Anniversary

This entry might be a surprise to those who have come to expect the usual classical music stuff from me. Well, those who know me can attest that I am a huge comicbook fan. In fact, during my younger years, the weekly music lessons I’ve had were just a way for me to go to the comicbook store at the mall after the lesson. And years later as an adult, I still go to comicbook shops, attend comicbook events and of course, read comics although I must say that my tastes have changed.

So it’s no surprise that I found myself at the press conference of the DC Comics 75th Anniversary Celebration at Terry’s Selection at the Podium. The anniversary celebration will be the main highlight of the 9th edition of the Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention or more popularly known as the ToyCon this coming June 19-20, 2010 at the SM Mega Mall Mega Trade Halls 2 and 3. I’ve attended past ToyCons before but this year’s edition looks to be promising because of the increased profile brought about by DC Comics' participation.

Media personality Anthony Pangilinan

The press conference, which had media personality Anthony Pangilinan hosting the affair, started with an audio visual presentation giving the media people present an idea as to what DC Comics is all about and also the extent that it has in penetrating other forms of media which is not bad for something that started out as a publisher for comicbooks. Then a slideshow was presented after showing what DC Comics has in store for the public for their anniversary celebration.

To start, they’ll be having an attraction called the DC Comics 75th Year Power Up! DC Super Heroes Challenge. The attraction will include a tyrolean traverse, two-line tight rope and a zip line. Usually set up outdoors, this activity camp will be held indoors instead at the SM Mega Mall Event Center which I think is where the old ice skating rink used to be. And passes for this attraction will be available when one purchases P500 worth of DC Comics licensed products at SM Department stores. I’d like to try this one so I have about three weeks to prepare myself physically for this challenge.

There’s also the usual stuff that one normally sees at the ToyCon like the display of toy collections and for this year, there will be the DC Comics Mini Museum which will be located at the Event Center as well. The contests at the ToyCon will have a DC Comics theme obviously and people are encouraged to wear costumes featuring DC characters as there will be an attempt to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most number of people in superhero costumes in one location. Also, there will be a number of exhibitors selling stuff like toys, comics and other collectibles. And local comicbook artists will be in attendance as well and they always accommodate autograph seekers during these kinds of events. Lastly, there will be a DC Comics booth that will sell licensed merchandise and I expect that to be one of the main attractions at the ToyCon.

For the hardcore comics enthusiast, the participation of DC Comics may be a bit of a let down since the focus is more on the licensed merchandise rather than the actual comics itself. But I’m confident that the casual comic fan and those who are just curious will be delighted with the activities lined up. And I also do think that the limited edition merchandise commemorating the anniversary will be a huge success as well. The anniversary shirts worn by the organizers of the press conference got a lot of positive feedback especially from the hardcore comic fans present.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Then & Now Massive Music Festival 2010

Since most of the orchestras are still in vacation leave, there haven’t been any performances lately. So what’s a music lover to do? As for me, I watched the Then & Now Massive Music Festival 2010 held at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds. Billed as the biggest music event of the year, this concert boasts of nine international artists: V Factory, TQ, PM Dawn, Diana King, Frankie J, Baby Bash, Jojo, All-4-One and SWV.

To warm things up, opening act and the only local artist in the show Myrus Ramirez started the night singing a bunch of covers. Then it was time for the music festival to begin. First to perform was V Factory. I never liked boybands and their performance didn’t make me like them more. But they were still greeted with screams from the women in the audience. The group has five members but only four were present to perform since one was busy shooting a Glee episode if I’m not mistaken.

Next on the stage was TQ who did a mix of new and old tracks. Obviously, his most applauded number was Westside. And his shedding off his clothes per number elicited more shrieks from the women in the audience.

PM Dawn next performed but this set felt very odd to me since on the stage was a man named Doc G who isn’t an original member of the group. DJ Minute Mix already left the group and Prince Be who is the voice behind the hits had a stroke and wasn’t able to travel. So it was indeed odd for me to see and hear someone else singing/rapping songs like Looking Through Patient Eyes, Die Without You and Set Adrift on Memory Bliss that I’ve loved years ago. But I had to give props to Doc G for dedicating his performance to the late FrancisM and also wearing a shirt bearing the three stars and the sun of the Philippine flag.

Doc G of PM Dawn

Following next was a very enthusiastic Diana King. Her set was one of the most well received of the night since she was just a bundle of energy and I was very impressed that her vocals still sounded the same after all these years. And it was during her performance that I found myself bouncing up and down to her tunes Ain’t Nobody and Shy Guy which other people might find appalling (not her tunes but with me bouncing up and down).

So I had to apologize to the next performer Frankie J since I had to rest a bit during his set. I felt a bit drained after Diana King so I just had to sit it out during most of his set. I do think that he does have a nice falsetto as he sang Don’t Wanna Try, More than Words and Obsession (No Es Amor) since although I was sitting down, I still listened to him.

Frankie J’s last song was Obsession and at this time, Baby Bash joined him. After this, it was his turn to pump up the crowd. Honestly, I was still trying to regain some energy so I still sat on the floor for this one. I’m not really familiar with a lot of Baby Bash’s music but I do know Suga Suga and that’s when Frankie J returned on stage to sing his part in it.

After this, JoJo had her set and it seemed that a lot of people present were really looking forward to her performance. The crowd really got pumped up when she appeared on stage and a lot were quite surprised with her black with a splash of glittery silver outfit that announced that she’s already a woman. Accompanied by a four man band, she really worked the stage singing her tunes Leave (Get Out), How to Touch a Girl, Too Little Too Late, Anything. She did have difficulty finding her key with Leave since there was a problem with her hearing the track from the stage. She also sang a couple of new tunes and she seemed very pleased by the positive response from the crowd for her new material. And because of this, she promised to be back when it’s time for her to promote her new album.

Immediately following JoJo was the group All-4-One. Now, this is one act that I was really looking forward to during that night since I used to sing their songs back then. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for a lot of people who left after JoJo performed. I can’t blame them since the concert was already past the four hour mark when All-4-One had their set. Too bad since they missed the group sing their hits like I Can Love You Like That and a very nice a cappella rendition of So Much In Love. And as expected, they capped their set with a performance of their biggest hit, I Swear. They did really well although I did find their choreography a bit cheesy. I honestly thought that their vocals were more than enough to enliven the set.

Finally, it was the turn of SWV to perform. Right before the concert, I’ve been telling people from the Manila Blogger’s Network and Manila Concert Scene that SWV was my main reason for watching the concert. And finally that moment came just when I was really feeling the fatigue and the exhaustion that night. But I knew that I had to get into my energy reserves and enjoy this last set. And I really did enjoy their performance since they sang what I expected them to sing like Right Here/Human Nature and I’m So Into You. And it was quite fitting that they ended the concert with their biggest hit, Weak since it seemed that everybody in the audience was already weak from the five hour concert.

Overall, it was a nice concert especially if one likes all the artists who performed. For me, it was uneven since I liked some and some I never really cared for. With the exception of PM Dawn, it was nice to see the groups with the original members and also for still retaining their vocal chops even after all these years. But I did get very tired after the concert and felt really bad the day after. I guess that my aging body has yet to get used to five hour concerts without the benefit of cushioned seats and airconditioned concert halls.

Yes, the Then & Now Massive Music Festival 2010 was indeed a Massive music event. But it was also a Massive test of endurance, patience and dedication. And I am very glad that I was able to stay with it until the very end. Thanks to Azrael Coladilla for the ticket and it was nice meeting the rest of the bloggers and the peeps from the Manila Concert Scene as well.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

PPO 28th Season 2010-2011

The blog entries for the upcoming season lineup of orchestras continue with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra’s schedule for their upcoming 28th Season.

PPO I - La Musique Francaise
September 10, 2010

Berlioz, Hector - Harold in Italy (Sayaka Kobuko, Viola)
Milhaud, Darius - Le Boeuf sur le Toit
Honegger, Arthur - Pastorale d'Ete
Ravel, Maurice - Bolero

PPO II - Beethoven’s Emperor
October 8, 2010

Bartok, Bela - Two Pictures
Haydn, F.J. - Symphony No. 104 "London"
Beethoven, Ludwig v. - Piano Concerto No. 5 "Emperor" (Georgi Slavchev, Piano)

PPO III - Dibner’s Bassoon
November 12, 2010

Strauss, Richard - Tod und Verklaerung
Weber, Carl Maria v. - Bassoon Concerto (Steve Dibner, Bassoon)
Elgar, Edward - Romance for Bassoon and Orchestra
Schubert, Franz - Symphony No. 9 "Great"

PPO IV - Dvořák’s Sixth
December 10, 2010

Ives, Charles - The Unanswered Question
Romero, Redentor - Philippine Portraits
Tchaikovsky, Piotr I. - Francesca da Rimini
Dvořák, Antonin - Symphony No. 6

PPO V - Robert Ryker: Guest Conductor
January 14, 2011

Program TBA

PPO VI - Tianwa Yang Plays Brahms
February 11, 2011

Beethoven, Ludwig v. - Symphony No. 5
Gershwin, George - Symphonic Pictures from "Porgy & Bess" (arr. Bennett)
Brahms, Johannes - Violin Concerto (Tianwa Yang, Violin)

PPO VII - Verdi’s Monumental Requiem
March 18, 2011

Verdi, Giuseppe - Requiem (4 SATB Soloists TBA, with choirs from the Philippines)

PPO VII - Gulyak and Mahler 1
April 15, 2011

Hohvaness, Alan - Symphony No. 2 "Mysterious Mountain"
Rachmaninov, Sergei - Piano Concerto No. 3 (Sofya Gulyak, Piano)
Mahler, Gustav - Symphony No. 1 "Titan"

Performances are held at the CCP Main Theater and they start at 8:00 PM.

This lineup had some changes compared to the subscription form that I got during the orchestra’s last performance. It’s not uncommon for the programme and performers to change but sometimes they do throw me off especially if they’re last minute changes. Initially, Slavchev was to play the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto but it was changed to Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto. And Gulyak’s piece was previously announced as Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and now, it’s the Concerto No. 3 instead. Oh dear, someone will play Rach 3 and why do I have to wait for next year? I want to see it now!

Ochanine also adds that there will be other special performances aside from their regular season concert. But no details about those yet.

Manila Symphony Orchestra 2010 Concert Season

This blog entry is dedicated to the Manila Symphony Orchestra and their upcoming 2010 concert season which is already less than a month away.

Philippine Festival
Featuring Violinist, Melchora Regina Medina;
Pianist, Virginia Laico Villanueva and
Conductor, Arturo Molina
June 5, 2010

Philippine Festival Overture by Angel Peña
Violin Concerto by Lucino Sacramento
Piano Concerto by Nicanor Abelardo
Lahing Kayumanggi by Lucio San Pedro

Forces of Nature
Featuring Guest Conductor and Violinist from Belgium,
Prof. Thanos Adamopoulos
July 10, 2010

Symphony no. 6 in F-major "Pastoral" by Ludwig Van Beethoven
Concerto for violins and Strings in E flat “La Tempesta Di Mare” By Antonio Vivaldi
Hebrides Overture (Fingal's cave) by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
The Moldau by Bedrich Smetana

Romantic Anniversaries
Featuring Cellist, Victor Michael Coo and Conductor, Arturo Molina
August 21, 2010

Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture by Peter Ilytch Tschaikovsky
Concerto Cello and Orchestra by Robert Schumann, Op. 129
Symphony in D-minor by Cesar Franck

A New World
Featuring violinist, Joseph Esmilla and Conductor, Arturo Molina
October 9, 2010

Transfigured Night, Op. 4 by Arnold Schoenberg
Violin Concerto by Erich Korngold
Symphony no. 9 in E-minor “From the New World” by Antonin Dvorak

Featuring Flutist, David Johnson and Conductor, Arturo Molina
November 20, 2010

Peer Gynt Suite by Edvard Grieg
Flute Concerto by Carl Nielsen
Symphony no. 2 in D-Major by Jean Sibelius

The Philamlife Auditorium serves as the concert venue for all performances which starts at 8:00 PM.

There are some very familiar pieces that I’d want to hear performed live and some pieces that I hope I would like since they are unfamiliar to me. And if they indeed play the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, it would be interesting to note that the MSO will be the third orchestra to play this piece this year.

Filfest 2010 Ensembles of Eight

Here is another blog entry with the schedule for the upcoming concerts by various orchestras/groups. This one is for Filfest 2010 Ensembles of Eight which is actually the Filfest Cultural Foundation’s Season 3 offering. I admit that it was only very recently that I was able to watch my first Filfest concert ever. And that concert was Piano Peace, their second special concert. Obviously, I missed the first special concert that featured Minoru Inagaki who is a Japanese virtuoso guitarist.

But in just a few weeks, their regular concert season will start and here’s what Filfest has to offer in their 3rd season.

Tutti Flutti
8 Flutists led by Tony Maigue & Friends
May 30, 2010, Sunday, 4:00 pm

Tutti Guitarri
Filfest Guitar Ensemble
June 26, 2010, Saturday, 8:00 pm

Tutti Celli
At the Bach of our Minds
August 28, 2010, Saturday, 8:00 pm

Tutti Tango
Nostalgia: Grand Tango
October 23, 2010, Saturday, 8:00 pm

Tutti Opera
Hades Ladies: A Decomposed Opera with 8 Sopranos
November 20, 2010, Saturday, 8:00 pm

All performances are held at the Insular Life Theatre at Alabang. Unfortunately, the venue is quite far from where I live and it’s not easy for me to travel to Alabang. But I was still able to go there before, so I might be able to do that again.

The concert that interests me most is the fourth one since I love tango music and Astor Piazzola. And this also features dancers and I’m interested to see how they’ll be able to interpret the music in their choreography. The last concert seems interesting too since I also love listening to soprano arias. If only Alabang was just a stone’s throw away from where I live, I wouldn’t have any difficulty in catching up Filfest’s concerts.

FILharmoniKA 2010 Symphonic Concert Season

I’ve been asked a handful of times by some people how I managed to find out about concerts that I was able to watch. I usually answer that I do actively search for them. I usually read the papers, browse the net, get whatever flyers are available at the concerts and ask people involved to know what’s coming next. Unfortunately, not everyone is as driven like me to do all this work just to find out what’s going on in the classical music scene in here. So I’ve decided to devote the next blog entries to performances that are coming up soon so that you, the reader won’t have to search far and wide for them.

First up is the season lineup for FILharmoniKA, the orchestra conducted by Gerard Salonga. Their season has already started and I’ve already mentioned before that I missed the first concert, FILharmoniKA Symphonic Inaugural Gala. But I was able to catch their second offering for the season which was Dvořák's Cello Concerto featuring cellist Richard Bamping.

The remaining concerts for the season are:

Cecile Licad with FILharmoniKA*
Cecile Licad, piano
July 2 & 3, 2010

Game On!
You shoot, we score! FILharmoniKA plays music from the best video games ever!
October 16, 2010

FILharmoniKA: The Magnificent Seven
Bernstein, Morricone, Barry, Herrman, Elfman, Mancini, Williams.
Join FILharmoniKA as we pay tribute to seven of the world’s greatest film composers.
November 13, 2010

All concerts are held at the Philam Life Theater and they usually start at 8:00 PM.

*I’ve heard from Gerard Salonga himself that Licad would play Camille Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22 and Manuel de Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain instead of Gershwin.

The Licad concert will always be a top draw and it doesn’t matter if she’s still playing Gershwin or something else. The last two concerts have a more mainstream audience appeal and I do get an impression that this orchestra really want to reach out to a wider audience hence the very accessible programme.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Piano Peace (The After Concert Experience)

I wrote in the previous entry that my experience from the Piano Peace concert featuring Yaron Kohlberg and Bishara Harouni went beyond from just being a member of the audience. Looking back, I still find it amazing on how things turned out and I am extremely grateful that I was given this opportunity.

It was during the brief chat after the concert that I had with Filfest Executive Director Martin Lopez and Yaniv Revach, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Israeli Embassy that I eventually ended up as being one of the page turners for the two pianists during the celebration of the 62 Anniversary of the State of Israel that was going to be held at the Hotel Intercon. Since they needed two page turners, I recommended my friend Charisse who agreed to do it when I told her about it.

Martin also invited me to drop by the Far Eastern University the day before the event since the pianists would be having an open rehearsal at the FEU Auditorium. I’ve never been to the FEU campus before but I told myself that there’s always a first time for everything. Besides, I was able to go to the Insular Theatre in Alabang so why not to the FEU Campus which is much nearer to my place. A few hours before the rehearsal, I was able to listen to Yaron and Bishara getting interviewed over at the radio station 98.7 DZFE so I was definitely pumped up to go to FEU.

As I’ve said, it was my first time to be inside the FEU campus and I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw. And I was also impressed by their auditorium where the rehearsal was held and I am very interested to go back and hear the sound from the different areas of the hall. One thing that threw me off a bit was that there was only one piano which meant that they wouldn’t be able to play the pieces that required two pianos. And those two pieces, the Shostakovich and the Milhaud which they played before, were the ones that needed the page turners. So for this rehearsal, they only played the Schubert piece for four hands and some of the solo pieces that they performed during the concert.

They appeared a lot more relaxed this time around since this was just a rehearsal but they were still able to impress the people who went there to see them. After playing, the two were kind enough to answer questions from the audience who were made up mostly of students and their answers impressed even Ms. Celine Pil whom I noticed was beaming throughout the rehearsal. Some even requested that they play certain pieces but Bishara said that he could’ve granted those requests if he had the music sheet but he was still able to manage to play a section of a Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57 “Appassionata” from memory.

Pianist Bishara Harouni

Afterward, while confirming with Martin the details of the event for the next day, I was invited to have a snack with the pianists. And it was during this time that I started to see another side to them. And the fun time continued on when I was also able to join the two when they were toured briefly at Intramuros before heading over to the SM Mall of Asia for dinner. And then we had a game of bowling where I just embarrassed myself on how badly I play. Among with us were Martin, Carlo and a bunch of FEU students (Anna, Ces, Cholo, Mon, Nicole, and Tina) who were also the ushers from the concert over at Alabang. And I knew right then that these kids will be remembering this experience with fondness as well. It’s just a shame that none of them (except for the pianists, obviously) were able to make it the next day at the Hotel Intercon.

Pianist Yaron Kohlberg

I admit that I was nervous hours before the performance since the first piece to be played where I’d be page turning was the Shostakovich piece. I am familiar with it but I’ve never seen the score before and that made me nervous. But the Milhaud piece wasn’t a problem for me since I was already familiar with the score. Minutes before the performance, I was able to have a good look with the Shostakovich score so I was able to have a bit of preparation. Yaron joked that I looked very serious while going through the score and that actually calmed me down a bit.

I’m really glad that the other page turner is a good friend since I knew no one at the event and the pianists were also very busy with their preparations, getting interviewed by a television show covering the event and also entertaining guests. My friend was able to introduce me to Rabbi Azaria and because of him, she was a guest at the event even if I didn’t ask her to page turn. The Rabbi and I expressed our amazement on how my friend was my first and only choice and that we would all end up seeing each other at the event. I was also glad to see Mr. Ray Sison who supplied the pianos for the performance and he was quite surprised to see me as well.

Fortunately, the performance went very well and I am proud to say that I turned the pages a lot better than I bowled the previous night. I guess this happened because right before the pianists took to the stage, I told myself to stop being nervous and just be grateful that this was happening and most of all, to enjoy everything. So whenever I look back at the Piano Peace concert, I’d always remember it with wonder and amazement since it was more than just a concert to me.