On June 3rd, 2011, Angel Perez will play his first solo piano recital at the Little Stage Theater at SoBe Institute of the Arts at 7:30 PM. The concert is free and open to the public and is sure to be a full house. This is both a happy and sad occasion for Angel who is just shy of his 13th birthday and has taken lessons at SoBe Arts for 3 years.
Happy is easy to understand, sad is that Maestro Robert Raines, the principal conductor and CEO of the Brampton Symphony, who twice brought his orchestra here to perform benefit concerts for SoBe Arts passed away April 16th, 2011 after a 2 year battle with cancer. Maestro Raines didn’t just bring his orchestra here, last October, Robert brought Angel to Brampton to open the Symphony Season bringing Perez to international acclaim while both Miami Beach Mayor, Matti Herrera Bower and Brampton Mayor, Susan Fennell, proudly watched. George Neary from the Greater Miami Conventions and Visitors Bureau and I were also in attendance as part of a Sister Cities cultural exchange. Brampton, Canada is newest of the ten Sister Cites that Miami Beach has. The oldest is Fujisawa, Japan that dates back 50 years.
Angel chose to honor Robert’s memory and dedicate his program to him. He will play Mozart’s Sonata in C Major K.548, Mozart’s Sonata in A Major K331, Chopin’s Prelude in e minor, Hisatachi’s One Summer’s Day and The Merry-Go-Round of Late. Angel will finish with Schubert’s Impromptu in Eb Major. Mayor Bower and other dignitaries will be on hand for Angel’s dedication to Maestro Robert Raines.
Angel will be playing on a Steinway and Sons concert grand piano on loan from the Coral Gables Steinway Gallery for SoBe Arts School year which is about to conclude. SoBe Arts would like to keep this piano so Angel and I have launched a campaign to buy the piano in Memory of Maestro Robert Raines. However, raising $75,000 will be close to impossible to do unless a very generous benefactor steps forward. I know Robert was not a man that sought glory or fame. He lived his life helping others and finding new talent, like Angel, bringing the best out in them to further their careers, not his. For this reason, I know that Robert would be happy to share his memory with other loved ones who are no longer with us. Therefore, I invite anyone who would like to donate $5000 to honor a deceased love one in order for SoBe Arts to keep this piano and have it become a legacy creating new memories for future generations to PLEASE call me or email me at 305-772-5665 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Angel and I will do everything in our power to make this a reality. Please come hear the beautiful music that Angel will be playing for you in honor of Robert and realize what it would be like without the great Steinway Concert Grand Piano, using just an electronic keyboard. SoBe Arts has founded a great teaching institution right here on Miami Beach. We should be proud and embrace them and insure their future in our great city.
For more information on SoBe Arts, their school and programming, go to sobearts.org.
Ray Breslin is president of the Collins Park Neighborhood Association, member of Miami Beach’s sister City International program, and SoBe Arts Board member.