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Students Raise Money For Children's Hospital of Philadelphia By Playing Steinway Concert Grand Pianos

The program includes Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 2, and more.

Students Raise Money For Children's Hospital of Philadelphia By Playing Steinway Concert Grand Pianos

For the past eight years, multi-award-winning piano teacher Ingrid Clarfield has held piano recitals that had a fundraising component.

Titled Performathons, students not only practiced for their recital, they raised money to support child-related causes. This year, the money will support the Children's Fund at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) that provides essential resources allowing (CHOP) to act quickly to seize new opportunities and meet unexpected needs as they arise.

On Saturday, June 26 at 1:30 p.m. Professor Clarfield's students will perform in a free concert open to the public on one of two concert grand Steinway & Sons pianos, made possible due the generosity of Jacobs Music Company. The concert will take place at the Princeton Meadows Church at 545 Meadow Rd, Princeton, NJ. The program includes Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 2, Prokofiev's Concerto No. 2, and works by Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Debussy, and Liszt!

One of these pianos was personally selected by Yuja Wang at the Steinway & Sons factory for her performance at the McCarter Theater. The other piano is Steinway's brand new Spirio Reperformamce piano that is able to record each of the performances in high definition. Clarfield said recently, "Bob Rinaldi of Jacobs Music Company has provided both pianos for us to use in addition to being helpful in so many ways. To recognize his generosity, we selected CHOP as our beneficiary charity, because it has special meaning to him." Another teacher involved is Todd Simmons, who is often Clarfield's "left hand" in recitals because 14 years ago when she had a stroke, she lost the use of her right hand. Rinaldi said, "Ingrid is the finest example of an excellent music teacher, one who, despite her own challenges, is totally dedicated to her students. In fact, when we created the Al C. Rinaldi Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of my father, Ingrid was the first, most deserving recipient."

In addition to Simmons, Clarfield invited additional highly respected piano teachers to participate in the Performathon for CHOP so that their studios would have the use of these rare Steinways for their recitals at Princeton Meadow Church. They are Jason Gallagher, Richard Woo, Chang Liu, Chiutze Lin, and Dr. Chiuling Lin. The recitals will take place June 25rd to 27th.

Clarfield talked about the Performathon and said, "My students perform in many recitals, but to me there's another important lesson to learn in addition to skills at a piano. It's using one's talent to help others. I can honestly say my students are very giving. They take great pleasure in reaching out to those who may not be able to attend musical concerts. Before the Covid Pandemic, they would take their electronic keyboards and play at senior centers."

Two of these students are Sammi Li,16, and her younger sister, Effie Li, 13, of Skillman, NJ. Sammi is an 11th grade student at Montgomery High School. She has played piano for 13 years and taken lessons with Mrs. Clarfield for six years. She said, "To me, music is meant to be shared with others. I am so lucky that I have been able to turn to music for any reason at any time. It's the least that I can do to share music with others who do not find it as accessible as I. It's a way for me to express my gratitude for what I have in life." Her sister Effie, an 8th grader at Montgomery Upper Middle School, has played for nine years and four of those years she has studied with Mrs. Clarfield. She added, "I think that it is so important to spread joy through music, especially during these tough times. That is one of my goals and a responsibility that I think musicians carry as well. The ability to bring just a few moments of happiness and a sense of peace to others through music is ultimately the reason behind why I love playing piano so much."

For more information about the Performathon and the Professor Clarfield's student recital on June 26, email or visit

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