Glazier to offer free concert in Sonoma
A YOUNG RICHARD GLAZIER, 12, with his idol and musical mentor Ira Gershwin.
Richard Glazier knows exactly how important a mentor can be in setting a kid down the right path. Were it not for the support and encouragement of legendary lyricist Ira Gershwin, Glazier may never have become the award-winning pianist he is today.
It’s a message he’ll share with the youth of Hanna Boys Center, along with the greater community of Sonoma, during a free concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, at Hanna Boys Center. The concert was underwritten by Marcia and Gary Nelson, who are longtime fans of Glazier’s work. In addition to the evening concert for the public, Glazier will offer a private concert and workshop for the Hanna boys during the day.
“It’s about following your passion, it’s about following your dreams,” Glazier told the Index-Tribune. “That’s really the theme of my afternoon with the boys, it’s about exploring passion.”
Glazier said without encouraging words from Ira Gershwin, he likely wouldn’t have stuck so closely to the iconic composers’ catalogue, which he continues to play to this day. It is a story he has told time and time again, but he never gets tired of it, because he continues to hope it will inspire audiences across the world.
“This story, no matter where I go, it’s repeated. I always include it in my programs,” he said. “The moral is never take ‘no’ for an answer.”
As a child, Glazier was captivated by the classic songs brothers George and Ira Gershwin wrote for dozens of musicals ranging from “I’ve Got Rhythm,” made famous by Gene Kelly in “An American in Paris” to “I Can’t Get Started” sung by Bob Hope in “Ziegfeld Follies of 1936.” At age 9, Glazier wrote a letter to his hero, Ira Gershwin, never expecting a response. But Ira Gershwin wrote back with words of encouragement. The musicians met face to face when Glazier was 12, during which Ira Gershwin asked Glazier to play a song on the piano that belonged to his brother, renowned composer George Gershwin.
“There has not been a day that’s gone by that I have not either discussed or played the music of the Gershwins since that day when I was 12 years old,” Glazier said, who committed himself to perfecting the work featured in the “The Great American Songbook,” which features many of the Gershwins’ pieces.
“These songs, they’re so much more than songs, they’re part of the fabric of the culture of America,” he added.
Glazier will play songs from the Gershwins’ catalogue in his Sonoma concert, which is entitled “Richard Glazier Presents Gershwin – Remembrance and Discovery,” but he added he will also include other selections as well. It’s an experience Glazier hopes will have an impact on the young men at Hanna Boys Center.
“I tell them, ‘Find your passion, because no one is going to give it to you. No one is going to hold your hand and lead you to it,’” He said. “And once you do find your passion, go for broke and don’t let anything stop you.”
There is no cost to attend the concert, but reservations are required by contacting Tamara Stanley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 933-2504.