Our May 4th Wednesday morning program threatened to become a Centennial Waterloo when the scheduled soloist was taken ill at the last minute. An SOS went out to WWU Professor Jeffrey Gilliam. Ninety minutes later, a replacement – WWU Senior Daniel Chong – sat down before 160 listeners to deliver one of the most brilliant piano recitals in the Club’s long history.
Mr. Chong, already the first-place recipient of this year’s Virginia Glover awards, topped Wednesday’s triumph with a longer recital for our Night Beat audience on Thursday evening, at First Congregational Church. His traversal of music by Scarlatti, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Ravel and Liszt managed to strike a perfect balance between technical virtuosity and deeply felt, personalized interpretations; here is a young man in love with music! Chong topped off the evening with his own magical jazz arrangements of two golden oldies, “I Got Rhythm” and “Someday My Prince Will Come,” to fervent acclaim and repeated standing ovations.
Kudos to unflappable professor Gilliam and the intrepid Daniel Chong! Please click here to see Mr. Chong’s May 4 program (put together after the recital!) as well as the newsletter which features a spread about the BMC Mayor’s Arts Award and a preview of our June programs.