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Wilton Residents to Perform Concert to Benefit Griffin Hospital and Person-to-Person
November 29, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm$15
When the pandemic struck in March, forcing the closure of all but essential services, Wilton pianist Kyong Hee Cho seriously considered retiring from teaching.
“Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to meet with my students in person and hear them live to share delicate musical ideas was very depressing. I was equally saddened by the inability to have concerts with live audiences. Music is about having listeners and a venue in which my students could share their accomplishments,” she said. “I encourage even my beginning students to participate in recitals for residents of the New Canaan Inn at Halloween and Christmas, and I invite my advanced students to perform in Playing By Heart, a yearly benefit concert to raise money for causes the performers choose. It all seemed too great a loss, but in the end, it was my students who changed my mind. They wanted to continue and I wanted them to keep practicing.”
In late April, she began giving online lessons, and as positivity rates declined, she retrofitted her studio to offer lessons in person safely. “My musical training emphasized perfection, but in adjusting my teaching, I have learned more about my students,” she added.
Cho said it was the persistence and “heart” of her students that has made possible this year’s concert, presented through Eventbrite on Sunday, Nov. 29, at 4 p.m. Proceeds will be divided between Griffin Hospital in Derby and Person-to-Person in Darien. At the height of the pandemic
“Griffin experienced a tremendous adverse financial impact from COVID-19, which has resulted from the need to make significant investments in personal protective equipment, facility modifications, and direct caregiver staffing increases to expand capacity.”
Serving the towns of lower Fairfield County, Person-to-Person provides for the immediate needs of families in crisis, providing food, clothing and financial assistance to individuals attempting to find their way out of poverty.
The extensive practice and preparation was nothing new to veteran performer Sharon Kesselman, a Wilton resident who has played in seven previous concerts, but the venue was. Although she admits to suffering nervousness in live concerts, she acknowledged that this format had its own drawbacks. “I miss the acoustics of a concert venue, which capture the sound better than playing from home.”
Fellow pianists Sophie Wang and Brianna Heckle are happy and excited to perform because despite the pandemic they will be able to share music for a wonderful cause. Maya Kesselman, Sharon’s daughter, who will play flute said, “I’m excited to be in the concert after being in the audience for seven years.”
Tickets are available online. Although the suggested donation is $15, all amounts will be gratefully received.
January 23 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm