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. 


Red Bank United Methodist Church Announces New Pastor

Red Bank United Methodist Church welcomes Reverend Bruce Galyon and his family to their congregation and to the Red Bank community. Rev. Galyon comes to RBUMC from Central UMC in Knoxville, where he was pastor for the past nine years. Rev. Galyon , age 52, is a native of Sweetwater, Tn.   A graduate of Emory and Henry College, he majored in religion and psychology ... (click for more)

Children's AWANA Ministry Starts At Middle Cross Baptist

Middle Cross Baptist Church, 4009 Norcross Road, Hixson, has begun its Awana ministry for children ages 3-17. The Awana program is each Wednesday from 6:30-8 p.m. Van service is provided by contacting Pastor Ed Gravett at 423-877-5742 . "Awana offers a fun, proven approach for early evangelism and discipleship. Scripture-based programs and exciting games attract families, ... (click for more)

Plan Revived For 5-Story Boutique Hotel Next To The Walnut Street Bridge

Plans have been revived for a five-story boutique hotel next to the Walnut Street Bridge. Vision Hospitality Group said the yet-to-be named hotel will provide 90 rooms featuring high-end amenities and exemplary service in the city's art district. Plans for a similar hotel were announced in 2012, but the proposal was later withdrawn. The hotel is slated for 102 Walnut ... (click for more)

Grand Jury Says County Needs To Start "Immediately" On Funding A New County Jail

Members of the Hamilton County Grand Jury said in a final report that the county needs to start "immediately" on funding a replacement for the Hamilton County Jail. The report, read by Foreman Robert Smith, says, "The Jail is near and/or over capacity and understaffed!  Hard-working corrections officers are in constant danger.  Being responsible for 80-100 inmates per ... (click for more)

Better Plan for Walnut Street Hotel

Mitch Patel and his Vision Hospitality Group have unveiled a revised plan for a hotel on Walnut Street. It is much better than the one proposed two years ago. By having no curb cuts on Walnut Street, it makes that special block near the bridge more inviting and safer for pedestrians. Deliveries would be off Riverfront Parkway and hotel access (valet parking) would be off Aquarium ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)