Free Piano Concert By Mary Grace Gellakano Set For Saturday

Monday, April 21, 2014
Set to play piano, Mary Grace Gellakano also will impart a message of perseverance, as the featured artist of Collegedale Seventh-Day Adventist Church's free concert, slated for 3 p.m. on Saturday. The native Filipino, 26, was born with a right forearm ending just below the elbow. But through persistence and dedicated practice, she learned to perform intricate compositions, 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 led 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. LaSalle in the Phillipines.

Now a missionary with Adopt-a-Minister International, and Filipino disaster Relief, 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 it's counterpart.

But such difficulties needn't deter success, according to Ms. Gellekano. She said, “Its' made me a stronger person. My outlook is positive. God has created me this way for a purpose, and I’m eager to make every minute of my life count for God.”

On the pianist's program are selections of “classical and religious music,” according to Rita Vital, a publicist for the concert.

“I have heard her and I have bought her recordings,” she said of Ms. Gellekano. “She plays beautifully, and her life story is truly inspiring."

Her other venues are:
April 25, Friday: 6:30 p.m.
Bowman Hills SDA
300 Westview Drive
Cleveland, Tn. 37312
Contact phone: Matthew Shallenberger: (423) 472-6231

April 26, Saturday: 11 a.m. worship service
East Ridge SDA Church
2165 Dabney Drive
East Ridge, TN 37412
Contact phone: (423) 421-4133

April 26, Saturday: 7:30 p.m.
Chattanooga First SDA
7450 Standifer Gap Road
Chattanooga, Tn 37412
Contact phone: Vanessa Kepper, (423) 987-6643 Barbara Cochran: (423) 894-8391

April 27: 3 p.m.
Sponsored By: 55+ Club
Collegedale University SDA
4829 College Dr. East
Collegedale, Tn. 37315
Contact phone: Ralph Neall, President (423) 396-2212

April 27, 11:20 a.m.
Morning Pointe Assisted Living Collegedale Residents
Contact Phone: (423)505-6605 (Rita Vital) All concerts are free, and an offering will be taken.   CD's will be available for sale after Saturday evening and Sunday programs.
Activities Director Phone: (423)396-6999 (Christy Pope)

Country Thunder Band Plays At The Chattanooga Mud Run After Party

Country Thunder Band, a country band that performs original music as well as cover songs, will perform at the Chattanooga Mud Run After Party on Saturday, Aug. 15. The 5K muddy benefit will begin at 8 a.m. at Greenway Farms, 180-acre city park in Hixson.  Country Thunder Band will begin performing their top hits from 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m. The After Party is not only open and ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Symphony And Opera 2015/16 Season Single Tickets Go On Sale Aug. 3

Single tickets for the 2015/16 season of the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera will go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. Popular concerts for the upcoming season include Opening Night with Pines of Rome, The Tabasco Opera, Brahms Requiem, Home for the Holidays, Big Band Fever, Play Ball, Scheherazade, and many more. Ticket prices start at $21. There are student discounts available. Complete ... (click for more)

County Taking First Step Toward Replacing County Jail Downtown With Workhouse Addition At Silverdale

County officials are taking the first step toward replacing the long-criticized county jail downtown with an addition at the workhouse at Silverdale. The County Commission is set to approve next Wednesday a $150,000 contract for the PFM government financial consulting firm to begin working out the details. County Mayor Jim Coppinger said he believes the move will save the ... (click for more)

Birchwood Residents Organize To Try To Keep Old School

Birchwood residents have organized to try to keep the old Birchwood School that serves as a community center. Jason Wright, who said he is an alumnus of the school and recently moved his family back home, said the community is concerned over the possibility of the county tearing the school down. He said he was advised that the boiler in the old school has stopped working and ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Strong

The hearts, minds and prayers of Tennesseans, and of the entire nation, have been turned toward Chattanooga this month.  We are sickened and saddened by the senseless tragedy, and we grieve for the families of the five service members who were killed, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” K. Wells, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Could Obama Win Again?

When President Barack Obama spoke to the African Union yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, he made a pretty brash statement: “I actually think I’m a pretty good president,” he told the African leaders. “I think if I ran, I could win. But I can’t.” While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I don’t think that’s true. Obviously, term limits keep Obama from running, but as I sit ... (click for more)