| Cesare Picco |
Shillong, Aug. 23: Visually-impaired Balarishisha Lyngkhoi walked into a news conference here this afternoon to solicit people’s presence in a September 2 concert that aims to spread awareness about children like her who do not seek anything special — just doors of equal opportunity to be opened for them.
Balarishisha, a Class VII student of Jyoti Sroat School run by the Bethany Society here, will also be one of the performers at the concert, Harmony of Hope, to be staged at the St Anthony’s College auditorium. The girl, who will be part of a choir, will have the privilege of performing on the same stage as world-renowned pianist Cesare Picco. Local artistes from groups like Na Rympei and the Aroha choir will also perform.
A feature of the concert will be a choir and a music band of students from Bethany Society who will be on stage to showcase their talent. They intend to show that music knows no barriers and being differently-abled does not mean they are different.
In fact, when the California-base musical band, Hoobastank, came here to perform in June this year, its members were mesmerised by students from the society, some of them visually impaired, as they could strum the guitar, play the keyboard, beat the drums, and sing loud and clear like any gifted musician.
The concert is being organised by the society, which is working for the welfare of the differently-abled in Meghalaya, in collaboration with CBM India, an international disability and development organisation working in 21 states of India.
Picco, who is from Italy, is considered a piano improviser and composer and has significantly contributed to the excellence of international pianism.
According to the society’s director, Carmo Noronha, Picco’s personal musical alphabet goes across different genres, bringing to his listeners the freshness, the intensity and the power of strong pianism, a deep spiritual approach, and the lightness of captivating melodies.
Picco is also the author of ballets, operas, music for theatre and special projects performed worldwide. In 2012, he opened the book fair at Calcutta with a piano concert and the Calcutta School of Music invited him for a master class of piano improvisation. Noronha said the basic idea behind the concert was to spread awareness about differently-abled children who had the potential for merit. “They do not want anything special. They only want equal opportunities.” He said the proceeds from the concert would go into educating differently-abled children.