Danville piano students to perform at Ryan Seacrest Studios

Jan. 26—Six piano students from the Danville area will perform at Ryan Seacrest Studios in Orlando, Florida, today.

Students of Dr. Karen Zereconsky, of Danville, performed in Orlando for the first time in September. She said the producer was very impressed by the students and welcomed Zereconsky to return with others, she said.

"As of last year, this group of pianists have been invited to perform at the Ryan Seacrest Studios in Orlando, Florida," Zereconsky said. "A total of six students will be performing for each of the 30-minute shows broadcasted live. Each pianist has prepared an interesting and unique presentation, in addition to performing their individual pieces, ranging from Bach, to Chopin, to Bartok and even Blues."

Seacrest Studios are built in pediatric hospitals with the goal of allowing patients to explore creative realms like radio, television and new media, according to the website.

Danville-area students who have performed at the Seacrest Studio at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando included Arjun Leal, James Behm, Benjamin Kapp, Aarav Bansal, Siddhu Chandolu, Helen Cotner, Janie Cotner, Nina Goren, Isabelle Marks, Adelena Mori, Sophia Yohannes and Amara Chang.

The latest group of local students who will perform at the same location today include Astrid Abubakr, Kimella Tanner, Miranda Behm, Sanah Bhanushali, Jackson Pitcavage and Julian Abubakr.

Each student will not only play the piano, but will give a brief presentation, Zereconsky said.

Tanner explained the history behind a tarantella, an Italian dance piece.

"It began as a cure for a poisonous spider bite. This poisonous spider was known in Italy as a tarantula," Tanner said. "After having been bitten, the spider's victim would start a wild, fast, energetic dance to get rid of the venom from the body. By dancing so fast, the poison was sweated out of the body, and they were all saved."

Abubakr, who also enjoys playing golf, spoke of the relationship between the sport and playing the piano.

"The famous PGA golfer Scott Harrington started piano when he was 5 years old. He once said 'I think it teaches you so much, about patience and working toward a goal,'" Abubakr said. "When I'm learning any piece, I'm analyzing it, repeating it, memorizing the piece, then performing it just as I would do while trying to perfect shots on the golf course."

Behm said she enjoys playing the piano because it makes her feel relaxed and calm and helps relieve stress.

"Many people from my church, senior centers, young children and even animals find my piece especially relaxing," she said. "There's even a study researching the effects and communication ability through music with animals. It's called zoo musicology. So, when my little doggie is agitated, I play this piece for him and then he feels happy and calm."

The Danville pianists will perform at 2 p.m. today at the Seacrest Studio in Florida.

"My students offer the gift of music, which has been found to have powerful affects on the mental and physical health of patients in hospitals," Zereconsky said. "It is our joy to bring wonderful music and images into their lives."