On the Road with Joanne Robinson: Show #232 College Park, MD

We had a wonderful taping this past weekend in College Park, Maryland with a talented and diverse group of teenage musicians.

First up was 16-year-old pianist Kimberly Hou, who did something never before accomplished during a From the Top rehearsal – she played so passionately she broke a piano string! We were very lucky because there just happened to be another Steinway taking up space in an adjoining concert hall plus a technician who was available to tune it. Crisis averted!

Next up was Brian Hong, 17, who performed a baroque piece accompanied by Christopher O’Riley on harpsichord. Brian knows an enormous amount about the differences between the baroque and modern violin so I flipcammed him doing a demonstration. It’s really interesting stuff!

Following Brian was John Williams – no, not the film composer or the renowned guitarist, but John Marcel Williams, a fantastic 16-year-old classical guitarist who performed a piece by Sérgio Assad. He also showed off his fake long fingernails, which he fashions out of ping pong balls!

Next up was 18-year-old bassoonist Sandra Bailey, who completely charmed the audience with her beautiful playing and her story of determination and the love of family in the face of challenges.

Closing the show was a trio from the Juilliard Pre-College Division comprised of composer/pianist Conrad Tao, 16; cellist Xinchi Wang, 17; and violinist Dawn Wang, 17. First they played a stunning piece called “Eventide” written by Conrad, and then went on to close the show with Astor Piazzolla’s “Muerte del Angel.”

Make sure to tune in when this show airs the week of May 30th!