Pandolfi and Meyers take on Parkinson’s

Published 5:53 pm Tuesday, April 1, 2014

033114-PandolfiMeyersParkinsons-MBWEmile Pandolfi is coming to Tryon on Saturday afternoon, April 5, to join Mary Meyers and her friends at the Tryon Fine Arts Center as they bring attention to Parkinson’s disease.

Pandolfi ranks among America’s most popular piano artists with almost thirty recordings. He made his first recording in 1990 – By Request – at the encouragement of some of his fans in Greenville, SC. Sales of that first recording have surpassed gold status, and overall sales are at the three million mark.

Pandolfi first studied music at age five in Manhattan at the Third Street Music School Settlement, the oldest community music school in the country. When his family moved to Greenville, he took weekly piano lessons at Furman University Music Department’s College Prep program. He went on to obtain a graduate degree in Piano Performance. But his love and passion for music he inherited from his parents; their home was considered “the place to gather,” and music, for him, was always associated with fun and friends and laughter.

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In addition to his performances of Classical Music – his favorite composers are Chopin and Rachmaninoff – Pandolfi is primarily known for applying a classical technique to Broadway hits and popular standards. He is also known for infusing his concerts with laughter and for romancing his audiences.

You may wonder how, with a very active performance schedule in venues ranging from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to the Amalfi Coast, Pandolfi has managed to squeeze a Parkinson’s Benefit in Tryon onto his calendar.

In October 2013, Kathleen C. Anderson, founder and owner of Physical Therapy and Upper Extremity Specialists in Greenville, sponsored a four-week dance program at a studio in Greenville for people with Parkinson’s. She knows, based on research, how exercise and movement helps those with the disease.

Allan Kroland, one of the organizers of the Parkinson’s Benefit in Tryon, has worked with Ms. Anderson since his own diagnosis fifteen years ago, when he became involved in the therapeutic dance program, he suggested that they have live music.

Enter social media: Anderson facebooked Pandolfi, explained the situation, and invited him to play for the Parkinson’s group. He accepted.

Not withstanding the only instrument being an old upright piano that needed tuning, Pandolfi loved playing for these sessions and was completely fascinated with the way people with Parkinson’s got into the music and with how they benefitted from the movement.

Because he had commitments abroad, he could play for only two of the dance sessions, but before he left for his tour, he expressed an interest in staying in touch with Anderson and Kroland and being kept up to date with their efforts on behalf of Parkinson’s.

During the planning stages for the Tryon event, Pandolfi’s name was mentioned in passing. Nothing ventured, nothing gained was the attitude of the committee. Ms. Anderson once again got in touch with him and relates that he responded, “Dubai will have to wait!”

Thus Emile Pandolfi will be at the Tryon Fine Arts Center to benefit Parkinson’s.

This generous and talented man has a history of donating his time to lots of groups. Ms. Anderson points out that he brings two gifts: his talent as a pianist and a memory for the people he is honoring to share with others. With both gifts he makes them feel special and important.

Be with us at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, to join Emile Pandolfi and Mary Meyers and her friends in their musical event to benefit the Parkinson’s Support Group of the Upstate, an organization which offers service to those in the North Carolina foothills as well as in the upstate of South Carolina.


– article submitted 

by Gloria Underwood, PhD

Information gathered from the official Pandolfi website