I play piano to touch souls and hearts

To the Editor:

I will be playing a benefit concert for Equinox on Sunday, Sept. 22, from 4 to 5 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church at 428 Kenwood Ave. in Delmar.

This will be my ninth benefit concert in 17 years. I’ve done three for helping to build a school in Haiti. My last Haiti concert was at All Saints Cathedral in Albany.

I play 23 times a month — at nursing homes, as an organist for two churches, and at the Blanchard Post in Delmar when needed.

The Enterprise did a podcast about me that includes some of my music.

When I’m playing music, I like to think outside of the box, to play my “Wally notes” — not written — to touch souls and hearts. They call it poetic license.

As a pianist, organist, and composer, I have copyrights with the Library of Congress on two pieces. I’ll play “Meditation” during the second half of the program on Sept. 22. I’ll also play “Unforgettable” by the request of friends here.

I won an Organ Guild scholarship to study organ with the late renowned Dr. Elmer Tidmarsh. He played in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris summers but resided here and was the organist for St. Jame4s in Albany.

I won a 6-A rating for piano and a summer scholarship for music at the University of Vermont Redstone Campus. I also started the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Choral Society that performed a few years and which my late wife directed.

When I was 5 years old, I came from the Children’s Home to live with foster parents. There just happened to be a player piano that came with the house.

I tried to imitate opera I heard on the radio on piano but most of it sounded sick. TV wasn’t out yet.

My mother couldn’t take it any longer and said I needed lessons. An old Methodist hymnal was my only source of music.

So I took lessons under Mrs. Murphy, a neighbor who had a farm. Then I went for advanced study under Mrs. Quay.

Now I’m here, trying to make a difference.

Wally Jones

South Bethlehem

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