16 March 2020

Fwd: For Our Joint Sanity

This is what it means to face crisis with courage.

---------- Forwarded message ---------

From: Portland Piano <info@portlandpiano.org>
Date: Mon, Mar 16, 2020 at 3:29 PM
Subject: For Our Joint Sanity
To: <ds@gyromantic.com>

Portland Piano International

On this oddly quiet first day of the "work-week," we find ourselves still thinking lots and lots about you. So many of you have let us know that you have enjoyed our prior messages with those great Anderson & Roe music videos. Thus, for our joint sanity, we thought we'd keep going!
In 1939, in the midst of the bombardment of London, the phenomenal and brave pianist Myra Hess (later made a Dame by the monarch), proposed playing a recital for anxious Londoners at the National Gallery and found a queue of people waiting for the first one to be two miles long! She continued with her own recitals and organized another 1,697 concerts, lasting through April of 1946. A total of 824,152 people came and more than 16,000 pounds was contributed to the Musicians Benevolent Fund. She opened every one of her recitals with her own transcription of Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring."
Here is a video of Dame Myra (click image for video):

It was a different time and the recording is slightly funky, but the sincerity comes through.
Decades later, when our pal and favorite artist Angela Hewitt was scheduled to play a recital for a gala for the series on September 16, 2001, 9/11 happened and air travel in the United State was suspended. But, Angela was in Ottawa, flew to Vancouver, B.C., traveled by a friend's car to the American border at Blaine, Washington, was met there by a new Portland friend who got her to Portland three hours before curtain, and the show went on as planned.
Without a word to the audience, adding to the announced program, Angela strode on stage in cobalt blue sequins and began with Dame Myra's wonderful transcription. A thousand people burst into tears. It was one of PPI's best moments in history.
And, here is Angela. (click image for video). This video may even be of that September 11, 2001 moment.

You buoy our spirits in this challenging time, dear PPI family. Let's do stay in touch.
"Music, my rampart, and my only one."
– Edna St. Vincent Millay

Sincerely yours,
Maryellen McCulloch 
Board President            

Lauren Canfield
Robin Power            
Associate Director     

Bill Crane
Director of Audience Engagement
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All we are is the result of what we have thought, it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts.   --Dhammapada


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