After watching one of my sons play in a third grade school band concert (I was thrilled to see kids that young play like that!), my parents gave me a cassette tape they found in a drawer dated from June 1973 from when I was just 12 years old. It contained introductory remarks from my grandparents, like it was yesterday, and a complete Mendelssohn ‘Concerto no. 1′ with my then teacher, Morton Estrin, playing second piano as the orchestra. Then came the round of popular solos like ‘Malaguena’, ‘Nola’ (remember that old ditty?–and not an easy one at that), ‘Alley Cat’ (not an easy one either–and it HAD to sound like the record–and I played it faster and faster–remember how hard it was to dance that one??–am I dating myself yet??)–all I remember is that I cried at the sound of my grandparents beloved voices, laughed when I heard my playing (it was actually decent!) and I remembered the feelings I had dreaming of becoming a concert pianist. I can look back now and can admit that I’ve been able to nearly accomplish what I had set out to do–it was Horowitz and Rubenstein, Liberace and Victor Borge–I wanted it all. The road to success has been long and arduous, not always easy–and carving a career today is much different than it was thirty years ago. It is recognizably more difficult to keep the classics alive–though it has been easier to spread wings in other directions of styles and repertoire–which can be a plus. I am thankful for the gifts I’ve been given and it is always my quest to keep my vision alive to further spread the glorious joy of music wherever I can. They say it’s hard to look back–but it’s kinda nice–it takes us back to our original sense of purpose and re-defines our present. Not everybody is with us today, but their being part of our lives has helped get us to where we are now. Cherish the moments.

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