Piano Songs for Charity – A Fundraising Concert for the Sunshine Cottage Welfare Society

I feel lucky that I am able to play the piano. There are other pianists and musicians who also feel they are fortunate to have the wonderful gift of making music. Recently I met a group of musicians who have taken the initiative to use their gift for the benefit of the poor and needy, by playing piano songs in a fundraising concert.

Tan Yee Teik a pianist, Lo Mei Yoke a violinist, Yeoh Lin San a violinist and Ellen Ng a cellist, participated in a fundraising concert playing classical piano songs to raise funds for the Sunshine Cottage Welfare Society.

I was having breakfast at Starbucks when I read about the concert in the local newspaper. Tickets for VIP seats were for 28 dollars and the regular seats were for 10 dollars. All the proceeds from the sale of the tickets would be channeled to the charity.

So I drove all the way to TYT Musica a music school selling the tickets, where I met Tan, the pianist. I think he owned the place. He told me this was the first time they were organizing such a concert, and it was their intention to do it every year. How noble indeed.

On the night of the concert, we were mesmerized by their performance of Circulo Op.91 by Joaqin Turina, Piano Trio in G by Claude Debussy, Three Nocturnes by Ernest Bloch and Piano Trio in B flat by Franz Schubert.

There seemed to be many mothers present who brought their babies to the fundraising concert, I have read somewhere that listening to classical piano songs helps the intellectual development in children. Maybe that is why.

I was half-expecting the concert would be a formal affair with ministers and VIPs wearing tuxedos and evening gowns. What a relief it was to see a casual and friendly atmosphere in the concert hall.

On the stage though it was class and elegance all the way, Tan wore a dark suit with a white tie, while Lin San was in a full length, flowing white dress, with flower trim around the waist. She looked like an angel, simply heavenly.

They were following the foot steps of past great musicians who have also organized charity concerts to help those in need.

In 1813, Vienna, Beethoven introduced his Symphony No.7 in A major to the world at a charity concert. The concert was held to help soldiers wounded in the war fighting Napoleon Bonaparte’s French army. 9000 Austrians were killed or wounded in that battle.

In 1832, Paris, Niccolo Paganini a violinist performed in a charity concert to help cholera victims. In the epidemic that struck France that year 100,000 died, 20,000 of those in Paris alone.

A young Franz Liszt who went to that concert, was so impressed by what he saw that he was determined to become a vituoso on the piano as Paganini was on the violin.

Like all good things, they have to come to an end. When the performance was over the host presented a check to a representative of Sunshine Cottage Welfare Society so that they can continue to provide shelter and protection to children and the elderly.

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