Orea Williams, who passed away a year May 2 at the age of 96, has left a legacy that I pray will span many generations. She was my first piano teacher and struggled to teach me, one who plays more naturally by ear, to read. For this I am ever indebted.
In her later years she suffered from macular degeneration which made it impossible to read music. I used to tease her that she should have learned to play by ear and improvise while she was teaching me how to read!
I will never forget that after my senior recital, which I conducted under the guidance of my second teacher, Elizabeth Cummings, Orea came up to me and said, "I never thought you'd make it."
In her memory and to show her that indeed, I did "make it" after a fashion, I will be doing a concert at the First Presbyterian Church on Fourth and Wooster Streets on Tuesday, May 28 at 7:30 p.m. I will debut a piano piece entitled "Orea," which will not be written down. I will also be available to compose other songs for audience members on the spot which they are welcome to record on their iPads or smart phones, since those will not be written down either.