Pianist Mary Grace Gellanko Has Several Performances April 25-27

Monday, March 31, 2014

Mary Grace Gellanko will be in Chattanooga April 25-27 for several performances.  She will also be giving a message on perseverance at each engagement.

Ms. Gellakano, 26 and a native Filipino, was born with a right forearm ending just below the elbow. But through persistence and dedicated practice, she learned to perform intricate compositions on the piano and organ, using her left hand and partial right arm.

The abbreviated limb “plays melody while my left hand plays the rest of the chords,” said Ms. Gellakano, speaking by phone from her Louisiana home.

“Occasionally, my stump bleeds and playing hurts,” she said. But the painful strokes remind her, she said, “of what makes my music unique.” 

She was six when her fledgling interest in music lead her grandmother to locate a piano teacher who would work with disabled students, according to Ms. Gellakano. She said there was talk of her fitting her with an artificial limb.

“But there were disadvantages,” she said. “With prosthesis, my stump might have shrunk, and I was afraid (of the risk).” 

At 15, she had her first solo organ recital and followed suit on the piano the next year, she said. In 1996, she made her inaugural international tour with appearances in Guam, Thailand, and Europe. In 2001, she earned a psychology degree at the University of St. KaSalle in the Philippines.

Now a missionary with Adopt-a-Minister International, Ms. Gellekano concedes that her congenital condition had impaired her ability to perform such manual tasks as cutting meat or opening envelopes. Her participation in activities such as roller skating is precluded with having a foot with only three toes on the right leg that's eight inches shorter than its counterpart.

But such difficulties needn't deter success, according to Ms. Gellekano. She said, “It has made me a stronger person. My outlook is positive.”

Ms. Gellekano's schedule:

Friday, April 25, 6:30 p.m.
Bowman Hills SDA
300 Westview Dr., Cleveland
Matthew Shallenberger: 472-6231 

Saturday, April 26, 11 a.m. worship service
East Ridge SDA Church
2165 Dabney Dr., East Ridge
421-4133  

Saturday, April 26, 7:30 p.m.
Chattanooga First SDA
7450 Standifer Gap Road, Chattanooga
Vanessa Kepper, 987-6643 Barbar Cochran, 894-8391 

Sunday, April 27, 3 p.m.
Sponsored By: 55+ Club
Collegedale University SDA
4829 College Dr. East, Collegedale
Ralph Neall, 396-2212 

The concerts are free, but a free will offering will be taken for her Filipino projects. 



Community Invited To Unite, Worship, And Pray For The Country On Oct. 2

The Union, a music incubator launched by Chattanooga House of Prayer, will host Worship Night on  Monday, Oct. 2,  from  7–9 p.m.  at Chattanooga House of Prayer at 3912 Dayton Boulevard in Red Bank.   Worship leaders from across Chattanooga will unite to lead attendees in worship and prayer.   “If ever there was a time our country ... (click for more)

Daisy Church Of God Honors First Responders And Military Sunday

Daisy Church of God will honor first responders and military personnel on Sunday during the 10:$5 a.m. service. "We want to show our appreciation for all that you do to keep us safe and secure," said James Berry. During the service they will be honoring the bravery and valor of all who serve in the local community. Immediately following the service will be a luncheon ... (click for more)

State Finds Photos Of Guns Used In Lookout Valley Murders On Morse's Phone, But Defense Says It Got Evidence Too Late

Prosecutors said Monday that there were six photos on the phone of Derek Morse of guns tied to the murder of three people at a Lookout Valley trailer park. However, defense attorney Dan Ripper said the phone should have been checked out years ago - not on the eve of the trial. He said he got the photos last Monday - the day before jury selection began. Prosecutor Lance ... (click for more)

Opportunity Zone Begins Effort To Transform 12 Low-Performing County Schools

The Hamilton County Department of Education announced the new Opportunity Zone team that officials said "will ensure every student is post-secondary ready." The schools in this zone are: Brainerd High, The Howard School, East Lake Middle Academy, Dalewood Middle, Orchard Knob Middle, Barger Academy of Fine Arts, Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy, Clifton Hills ... (click for more)

Titans Hide In The Locker Room

This Sunday, as has been widely reported, the Tennessee Titans and the Seattle Seahawks both chose to remain in their respective locker rooms during the playing of the National Anthem at Nissan Stadium.  Besides the fact that the NFL game operations manual has a rule regarding player behavior during the playing of the National Anthem which requires them to stand at attention ... (click for more)

Roy Exum - ‘Let’s Talk Real Life’

In mid-November of 2015, the Missouri football team very unwisely went on strike. A black student had refused to eat until a list of racially-based demands were met. Some on the football team were sympathetic and it quickly morphed into the biggest catastrophe in the annals of higher education. The university would lose hundreds of millions, athletic donations dropped 72 percent, ... (click for more)