Countdown to First Concert of 2015. Debra Saylor – January 11th at 4 PM.

Solo Piano Concert, “Piano at Twilight” Sunday January 11th at 4 PM.

The Music at Messiah Classical Concert series extends Happy New Year blessings to all followers and friends,  and look forward to seeing everyone at the upcoming January 11th  at 4 PM concert which features the extraordinary talent of pianist Debra Saylor.

Debra will be interviewed live on classical radio station WLRH this coming Friday, January 9th at 11:00 a.m. by regular morning host Ginny Kennedy.  WLRH can be found at FM/HD 89.3 or by listening online at  

Saylor, a finalist in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for amateurs in 2000, took third place for her awe-inspiring performance of Debussy’s Claire de Lune. Fellow Van Cliburn competitor Carl Tait described her semi-final performance in this entry from his March 2001 blog post as follows.

“The most memorable pianist of the entire competition made her first appearance at 4:15 that afternoon. Steve Cumming introduced Debra Saylor without fanfare, in much the same genially professional way he introduced all of us. We saw the long white cane first. There was a collective gasp. Debra Saylor was blind. Shea made her way to the piano bench with surprising speed and adjusted it quickly with well-practiced motions. She spread her arms widely across the keyboard several times to judge both height and proximity. My mind was awash in conflicting emotions. This was remarkable, brave, commendable – but would it be any good?

Debra began with Schubert’s familiar Moment Musical in F minor. It was good. Very good. I was smiling within seconds. The performance had a cheerful Viennese lilt and real charm. Next came Debussy’s Clair de lune, for which no one was prepared, or could have been prepared. Debussy’s overplayed work, mutilated by several generations of piano students over the past century, glowed to new life in Debra’s hands. Her tone was warm and deep, her legato singing, her phrasing impeccable, her pianissimos infinitely shaded. Anyone who claims not to have been in tears by the end is probably lying. It was one of those revelatory performances in which one feels the composer’s ideas fusing with the artistry of a gifted pianist.”

Titled “Piano at Twilight” attendees can expect Saylor’s artistry on the piano to fill Messiah Lutheran’ Church’s recently expanded sancturay with piano works written by the world’s finest composers.  It is sure to inspire and move audiences of all ages.  Oh and be warned, Debussy’s Claire de Lune is on the program so you might want to grab a few tissues before you arrive!

Here’s a wonderful performance by Debra from a later Van Cliburn competition.   We truly are blessed to have this wonderful musician perform a concert with the Music at Messiah Classical Concert Series.

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