concert dedicated to the Steinway piano will take place this Sunday | News, Sports, Jobs
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is hosting a piano dedication concert Sunday in honor of Paula Pickett following the recent donation of a Steinway piano.
St. Luke’s Music Minister Ron McEntire will perform alongside other local musicians as the church unveils the new Steinway piano donated by Tim Pickett in loving memory of his wife, Paula Pickett.
Pickett was an active member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church for many years, serving as chairman of the stewardship committee, delegate to the diocesan convention, Sunday school teacher, and director of the vestry.
“She was everything to us and always had a positive spirit,” said the Reverend Luke Fodor.
For years, the Jamestown Concert Association has hosted concerts at St. Luke’s. Since the church never had a grand piano, the association made a deal with the Chautauqua Institution to borrow a D Steinway stage piano during the off-season for the institution. McEntire said the piano was “marvellous” for performers; however, the piano was last removed from St. Luke’s after the Jamestown Concert Association disbanded late last year.
Fodor says he took a picture of a “almost tears in my eyes” McEntire holding the piano as it was carried away. The photo was included in the church’s annual report, and Fodor issued a request, joking that the church would “dazzled and delighted” if anyone would be willing to donate a Steinway piano, which costs over $120,000.
“To my surprise, a parishioner who had just lost his wife in December, Tim Pickett, contacted Ron and said, ‘Hey, were you serious about that? Would you really like to have a Steinway? I think it will be a perfect way to remember Paula,” Fodor said.
McEntire said he told Pickett how much the piano would cost, and two weeks later Pickett called McEntire to say he had decided to donate the money to buy a new Steinway piano for the church in l honor of his wife who died of cancer.
“I almost fell to the ground” McEntire said.
‘INSPIRATION FOR ALL’
Following Pickett’s decision to donate the money for the piano, McEntire arranged a private tour of the Steinway factory in New York, but his trip was nearly canceled by unexpected health complications. A week before his trip to buy a Steinway piano, McEntire said he woke up and realized something was wrong when he couldn’t read or remember people’s names. After being taken to ER, UPMC Chautauqua and UPMC Hamot, doctors told him, “There’s something in your head.”
Although doctors told McEntire he needed a biopsy, he insisted, “I have to be at Steinway on Tuesday to pick out a new piano.”
Just days after selecting a Stage B Steinway piano model, doctors performed a biopsy on McEntire. He was diagnosed with the most aggressive case of glioblastoma multiforme on the third anniversary of his son’s death from the same cancer. Doctors told McEntire he had 12 to 15 months to live, but he said he watched his son die four months after he had 18 to 24 months to live.
“I’ve been on this trail before” he said. “Just like the organ was upgraded by a quarter of a million dollars and just when that happened, you just got the best instruments of your life and now you face it. It’s like the worst possible news and the best possible news at the same time.
Despite the difficulty of coping with the disease, McEntire is determined to continue playing music and inspiring the community. Sunday’s concert will give McEntire the opportunity to dedicate the piano in honor of the Pickett family with a variety of musical compositions and arrangements for the enjoyment of the local community. He hopes people will leave the concert inspired and “feel really good.”
Brian Bogey, music minister at the First Lutheran Church, said people can expect a “magnificent program” by McEntire.
“Ron is such an inspiration to everyone,” he said. “He’s truly amazing. He has such a good spirit. He’s been a pure inspiration to so many people.
McEntire and Bogey will perform an arrangement together for the closing of the concert. The two music ministers have performed together on several occasions and believe this concert will be a special event as one of McEntire’s last concerts.
“I hope people will come back inspired” McEntire said. “I don’t know how many performances I have left.”
Both McEntire and Bogey view music as central to the church. McEntire explained that music is the part of worship that is “modern” and that it enables ministers to combine traditional texts of scripture with modern instruments and technology.
“The word can be said, but when put to music, it comes alive.” says Bogey. “It’s wonderful and the music animates the whole spirit of the Christian church. The music is just for the moment, and after you play it, it fades into a work of art. The music is very unique.
McEntire explained that musical performance is something that requires three parts to work properly. He said that music requires the instrument, the composer of the musical piece and the performer. He explained that unlike other forms of artistic expression, music must be recreated each time and is a new experience for both performer and audience each time.
‘WHAT CATCHED MY HEART’
Bogey and McEntire are encouraging members of the community to attend Sunday’s piano dedication concert, which they say will offer something for everyone from jazz, concertos and sacred music.
While the Bishop will attend the concert for the dedication of the piano, they explained that the event will be “primarily a musical performance.”
Fodor said the concert was a fitting tribute to the legacy of Paula Pickett and Ron McEntire.
“What grabbed my heart about all of this is just how humans connect and honor each other and how God works things out in ways we can’t even understand” , he said. “These are two people who are so near and dear to me, Ron and Paula, and they’re kind of intertwined in this instrument, this gift. We’re here to kind of celebrate life and its impermanence, but also how it is also eternal.
Fodor said the concert will be extra special both because Pickett’s family is traveling from Delaware and Florida to attend the Steinway dedication given in his honor and because it could be McEntire’s last concert.
According to Fodor, the concert will tell the story of how each person is part of a community and how God weaves each person’s life into a bigger story.
“In the scriptures we hear Jesus say that I am the resurrection of life,” he said. “We know that’s the truth as Christians, but sometimes it’s in the midst of pain and loss that I think our faith speaks most truthfully. I think there’s something to that in Christian history. The risen Jesus continued to bear wounds after his reappearance to the disciples, and I think that is true for all of us as well.
Fodor believes the concert will be an opportunity for the community to celebrate a wide range of bittersweet human experiences, including life and death, love and loss. Regardless of experience, Fodor explained that each person has a “Remark” inside of them that has the ability to come together in a “beautiful” unity and connection agreement with the community.
“One day we’ll be part of God’s symphony, and it’s going to be so beautiful,” he said. “I can’t wait for this moment, but in the meantime, I think we’re using the best of our lives and what might seem like the worst of our lives, but God, somehow it’s going to happen. transforms into something greater and brings it together, holds the joy, holds the sorrow, holds the sorrow and holds the beautiful love that we have.