North Allegheny senior starts free piano performance program for nursing homes
A group of young pianists that puts on free concerts at nursing homes is gearing up for a second season.
The Steinway Society of Western Pennsylvania Young Artist Volunteers plan to do one event every three weeks throughout the region.
North Allegheny rising senior David Ban started the program last fall after moving to Western Pennsylvania with his family.
Ban, 17, of McCandless began playing the piano regularly at an assisted-living facility in Utah when he was 7.
Ban said the experience was rewarding and had an impact on him as a pianist and a person.
The concerts last close to an hour, followed by 30 to 60 minutes of fellowship. Up to 10 pianists perform.
The group had seven concerts last year from September to March.
Marina Lupinacci, the society’s president, said the program is wonderful, and Ban deserves all the credit for organizing it, presenting it and participating in it.
“We hope to continue it,” Lupinacci said. “After David’s graduation, there will be two younger SSWPA Young Artists taking charge.”
The group is part of the society’s Young Artists, which has 33 members who play in recitals in the Grand Lobby of Heinz Hall before Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concerts. Auditions were in May at the PYCO School of Music in Pine.
The Young Artist Volunteers performed at the Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community in Cranberry in June.
Sherwood Oaks recreation therapy director Roberta Breninghouse looks forward to having the group back again in the fall and at Christmas.
“They’re all such talented kids,” Breninghouse said.
Breninghouse, a pianist, said residents did not want the kids to stop, and everybody stayed. The group performed works from Chopin, Bach, Liszt, Beethoven and Schubert.
“People do respond to culture,” Breninghouse said. “Classical music (is) so relaxing.”
Ban said residents ask after concerts when are they coming back.
Facilities that would like the group to play should write to Lupinacci at [email protected].
Karen Kadilak is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.