Liberace competition

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 23, 2003

Surely you haven’t forgotten him? Let me refresh your memory. Piano and his name went together. Classical, jazz, rag time – he played them all. Most of his audience was female. Besides loving his music, they drooled over his mink and ermine long coats and his jewelry drove them wild.

Diamonds flashed as his hands touched the piano notes so lovingly. What music he created! In his own way he owned Las Vegas. But that was long ago and the world wept at his death.

Now we come back to today. Try.

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A few nights ago I attended a piano recital. Kids! Lots of kids – ages 6 to 40ish. Really! Affair held at Wilroy Baptist Church here in Suffolk. Mrs. Gail Dey was the teacher of the pupils she presented for this gala. Gail Dey is the wife of the Rev. Carter Dey, pastor of Wilroy Baptist. How proud he was! Some of the children were too. Tiny to reach the pedals but a pillow on the bench would have assured reaching the pedals but their chins would line up with the piano keys. So – no pillow.

There were 19 to be presented (three were adults). The program was a Christmas song or hymn then their own practiced special piece. I can see their mother now praying for an earlier recital having heard the special piece played 1,000 times or more. Must practice, Mom. The pieces ranged from a selection from the opera Carmen to &uot;Pop Goes the Weasel.&uot; The kids were great thanks to Gail. The three adults performed so well, but, face it the constantly clicking flashes were proud parents and grandparents making sure these young geniuses were on print. Such joy!

Flowers for Gail (she sure deserved them!) and a miniature bouquet for each performer. They deserved it. A delightful reception followed and I must mention the special cake as part of the menu. A talented mother made a large birthday size cake covered with white icing with musical notes in black icing. It was delicious! What a way to end a recital! The girls in their beautiful dresses and the boys manfully suffering in suit, shirts and ties. I saw and heard beauty.

Florence Arena is a resident of Hillcrest Retirement Center and a regular News-Herald columnist.