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The Pianist of Willesden Lane tells the story of a Holocaust survivor

More than 1,100 students from 18 schools across the state were afforded a rare opportunity to attend Mona Golabek’s performance of The Pianist of Willesden Lane at Sanford University on April 22. Mona Golabek; Grammy nominee, concert pianist, author of The Children of Willesden Lane, and daughter of a Holocaust survivor; tells her mother’s story of survival interwoven with performances of […]

The Year of Music

John and Alton become best friends in elementary school, their mutual attraction prompted by both being new in town. John’s father, with the ink barely dry on his law degree, hangs his shingle on the second floor of the Alexander City Bank. Alton’s father has just relocated his one-chair barber shop from Camp Hill to […]

A Touch of Foolishness

Bert Kaempfert was a little known orchestra leader, a songwriter and arranger during the “big band” era of the 1950’s. His recordings enjoyed only moderate success until he recorded “Red Roses for a Blue Lady,” a song that had been around for two decades without hitting the charts. German born Kaempfert’s rendition of this tune, […]

A pocketful of music

Attired to test the limits of the dress code, the 12 surly teenagers shuffle in. Who would possibly look forward to embracing this marginal collection of anti-social misfits whose behavior has them teetering on the edge of permanent suspension? Leaning against the desk up front, Bruce attracts only passing glances until one by one each […]

Those stinking winds of change

When it comes to change, we humans are persnickety. Visits with my father to his old neighborhood on Staten Island, New York, invariably raised his bitter lament about a deli that had become a high-rise apartment complex. I felt obliged to comfort him by repeating what he said earlier in our trip. “Isn’t that the […]

A place for the piano

The humanities approach to music, often referred to as musicology, involves more than just listening to or producing sound. Behind the melody, there is a method. Behind the tune, a tale. And behind the instrument, almost always, a rich history. For years, I have viewed our family piano in the same way. To me, it […]

Music in our bones

Wherever I may be, whatever I’m engaged in, if I hear music start up—I stop. I listen. And I involuntarily identify the tune. This automatic name-that-tune response must have imprinted on my brain during my early years of music training and brief career teaching music. If I go to any restaurant that features live musicians […]