Stephen Cook and Mark Freshwater
“I recall seeing Van Cliburn play when I was eight years old and it had a huge impact on my continuing classical lessons from my mother, the instructor,” says Freshwater, pianist/singer and easy listening songwriter. At The Oracle Piano Society November board meeting Freshwater was asked to join the non-profit located in Oracle in hopes of helping create opportunities for the youth of today to open up to the classics. “I am honored to be part of this organization and its commitment to the finer art of classical music and early exposure and education,” says Freshwater. Mark is the second SaddleBrooke resident to join the board along with Earlene Lewis, retired blues musician, appointed earlier in 2014. Lewis and Freshwater bring different backgrounds and ideas to the board and share the work involved in its mission.
The board is sensing excitement as projects are starting to take shape and more activities are coming to fruition. Artistic Director and founder Stephen Cook has performed a number of wonderful concerts at DesertView over the last couple of years. If you missed the last concert there is another one right around the corner, March 1, which is not to be missed.
In addition to a series of concerts open to the general public, The Oracle Piano Society (TOPS) is promoting specific educational opportunities for children and their families. The organization was able to facilitate the donation of a piano to a needy family in December and has longer range plans for music summer camps. Lewis and Board Chair Elaine Helzer will be kicking off Piano Storytimes later this month for children in the Oracle area. The Arizona Opera has donated a piano to TOPS which will be the focus of additional performances and recitals aside from DVPAC events. To celebrate the grand piano donation there is a launch party open to the public.
Piano Launch Party (mini performance and pre-concert talk)
When: Sunday, February 15, 2015, at 3:00 p.m.
Where: Triangle Y Ranch Camp, Loper Hall, 34434 S Y Camp Road, Oracle, Arizona
Freshwater encourages SaddleBrooke residents to consider scholarship funding for student education purposes. A portion of all proceeds goes towards funding student tickets to performances as well. Donations of all sizes can be made and no gift is too small. Depending on the size and condition of the instrument involved, TOPS is also accepting pianos (acoustic and electronic) as donations.
The Oracle Piano Society is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For additional information or to make a donation, visit the website www.oraclepianosociety.org or www.facebook.com/oraclepianosociety or feel free to contact Mark Freshwater ([email protected]/614-202-0842).