The Lancaster International Piano Festival competitions began with a chord of harmony between ten semi- finalists from around the world and USA on Sunday, July 17 in the great hall of the Winter Center at Millersville University. Selections ranged from Beethoven and Chopin to Granados and MacDowell. Competition was close and the performances, attended by a sprinkling of people, were amazing.
“Music is one of the most important experiences for healing,” says Dr. Deepak Chopra, author of 85 books on healing and personal development.
Kelly Wu, the third performer, played a powerful Sonata. Meredith Stemen, seventh at the grand piano, played Chopin and MacDowell with power, grace and ease. Both pianists came up from Pensacola, Florida where they live.
“My brother, Geoffrey, said that people enjoy music they know,” said Meredith after the event. But the effect of all music has been felt and documented, indicates Dr. Chopra.
“Music is metabolized to opiates in your body,” he notes. These opiates are as effective as a drug for happy feelings. “And it doesn’t matter what kind of music it is, as long as you enjoy it,” he adds.
Kelly Wu, who, like Meredith Stemen, is an experienced performer for people, added, “If it is powerful enough music, they really get into it.”
Article and photos by MaryEllen Graybill