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. 


Brainerd Presbyterian Church Hosts Its First Annual CommUNITY Block Party

Saturday, August 15 from 11:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M. Brainerd Presbyterian Church invites the community members from all over Chattanooga and East Brainerd to their first annual CommUNITY Block Party, Saturday, Aug 15 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.   There will be inflatables for kids, free lunch (hot dogs, chips, cookie and drink), live music, games, free giveaway drawings (Chrome ... (click for more)

Bob Tamasy: Opportunity No Longer Opportune?

It used to be said, “When Opportunity knocks, don’t forget to answer the door.” Now, apparently, when Opportunity chooses to knock, we should respond by shouting, “Go away, you racist, sexist so-and-so!” Recently University of California faculty members were provided a list of “microaggressive” terms to be avoided, words and phrases that could be construed as bigotry. Among ... (click for more)

Zaxby's To Go In Across From Bass Pro Shop At New I-75 Exit 1 Development In East Ridge

A new Zaxby's will be built across from Bass Pro Shop at I-75's Exit 1 in East Ridge, developer John Healy said Thursday night. He said other restaurants and hotels are also coming to the Jordan Crossing site at the entrance to Camp Jordan Park. Mr. Healy said he hopes to make a "significantly larger" announcement soon. The East Ridge City Council, at a special called meeting, ... (click for more)

Young Man Involved In Incident That Led To A Murder Gets Diversion, Praise For Testifying

A young man who was involved in an incident that led to a murder has been given diversion and praised for testifying against co-defendants. Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman said a conviction for facilitation of an aggravated robbery can be expunged if Dustin Hayes gets in no further trouble for six years. The judge said, "We wouldn't be dealing with 40 shootings a year ... (click for more)

The Silence Is Deafening - And Response

In this week’s news cycle we have the international uproar over the killing of Cecil the lion. In the same time most national news outlet refuse to even mention the undercover videos of so call doctors and technicians discussing the harvesting, processing and sale of human baby body parts.  The argument by those liberal, progressive Democrats has been that the “fetus” was ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: They Still Love The ‘Lickers’

When Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fl.) introduced the 2015 version of the “Prevent All Soring Tactics” in Congress this week, he already had a bipartisan crowd of 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats as co-sponsors. That’s hardly amazing. Today there are over 280 organizations, associations, veterinary and animal advocates who vehemently support the legislation, because it is well documented, ... (click for more)