Marilyn Delk

February 13, 2014

Classical pianist extraordinaire Alpin Hong will return to Darke County in early March! DCCA officials are thrilled about that, and want the whole community to share their enthusiasm.

Alpin visited our community three years ago and left a lasting impression on almost all local citizens who interacted with the energetic charmer. However, he didn’t have the opportunity to meet as many Darke Countians as had been planned; his entire Arts In Education schedule reaching students from all local public schools had to be canceled because the schools were closed due to harsh winter weather. However, his DCCA hosts tried hard to show the artist a warm good time in spite of the frigid conditions; during his forced inactivity Alpin charmed his hosts and almost all those he met as he was treated to local activities and amenities. (Amazing stories of an awesome impromptu concert on the grand piano at The Inn at Versailles and fun-filled after-hours bowling at McBo’s are still circulating among those who were there.)

The treacherous weather improved somewhat by week’s end, so Alpin’s Artist Series concert at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall went on as planned – and the few hundred hardy souls who trekked to that concert were wowed by a stupendous performance where constant communication between artist and audience occurred, imprinting a lasting memory of having experienced something wonderful. That’s the thing about an outstanding and engaging live performance – each member of the audience feels a connection that bounces back to the artist and then multiplies as an indescribable force is exchanged, energizing, inspiring, and motivating all involved.

Alpin brings with him a life story full of triumphs, beginning with his performance as a ten-year-old soloist with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra playing before an audience of 4000 squirming students about his own age, an event that Alpin recalls as “some of the most fun I’ve ever had.” The masterful performer has since earned a master’s degree from Juilliard, a number of prestigious awards, and appearances at impressive venues such as Carnegie Hall. And he excels at a broad variety of activities - mastery of video games, agile skill at skateboarding and snowboarding, and a deep knowledge of college basketball.

However, the high-achieving artist has also endured tragedy. When Alpin was 12, his parents were killed in an automobile accident; Alpin and his brother then moved from Michigan to California where they were raised by relatives. “I felt betrayed by the world,” Alpin said; but he goes on to reveal that music saved his life. “Art gives you a place to go when life isn’t good,” he explains.

Alpin’s performances convey deep emotion and reflect his passion for music, qualities communicated to his audiences. However, the artist strongly believes that people attend concerts because they want to have a good time; and he is dedicated to providing that good time. “The artist’s job is to entertain and make music relevant to the audiences of today,” Alpin states emphatically.

Alpin Hong has been described as “a magnetic physical presence” “evoking a kind of Beatlemania when he comes on stage,” an artist who “will amaze with his flying hands.” He is a charming young man of diverse interests who is also a creative force with astonishing talent and abundant energy that will inspire and energize you. Discover what the excitement is all about; Alpin Hong will perform as part of DCCA’s 2013-2014 Artists Series on Saturday, March 8 at 8 p.m. To get your tickets, contact 937-547-0908 or dcca@centerforarts.net. Tickets can also be purchased on-line at CenterForArts.net.

Alpin will also present Arts In Education workshops for junior high students at St. Clair Memorial Hall on March 6 and 7; these sessions are free and open to the public. Contact DCCA for specific performance times.

Marilyn Delk is a Director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at marilynd@bright.net. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.