There is a great movie that reminds me about the importance of the dreams of young people. “Cinema Paradiso” is a story about a young boy who develops a friendship with the fatherly projectionist in a small town in Italy. Eventually, he became a famous film director, and there’s no doubt that the time he spent in the movie theater with the projectionist affected his success as a film maker.

When I recall my life’s path, the first person who gave me the dream of becoming a musician was my father. My mother was actually much more enthusiastic and supportive in my musical education compared to him, but she was not born with much particular musical talent. My father had a lot more interest in music and all other areas of arts, such as photography and cinema. He took me to music concerts and let me listen to many LP records.

One day, he happened to hear some very charming and exciting music from a radio classical music program, but missed the chance to learn the title and composer of the music. He ran to the nearby record store and explained what he heard: a piano concerto style with an exciting chorus part added at the end. Finally, the owner picked up the title for him. It was Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy.”

From the moment my father shared it with me, it has been one of my favorite pieces of music. I performed this piece when I was in Korea with the Suwon Presbyterian Church Choir. Back then, Miah played the organ for the orchestra part, and the piano solo part in the beginning of the piece was cut off. Performing this piece in its original form has been my dream since I first listened to it years ago as a child. Finally, my dream will come true this year on May 8th.

As it has been announced, we will perform in our sanctuary this Beethoven masterpiece, along with another well-known masterpiece, Vivaldi’s “Gloria”, with an orchestra of 23 and guest pianist Dmitry Vorobiev, Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Northern Iowa. We have invited local singers to form a community chorus to sing with our Sanctuary Choir.

I hope this concert not only makes my longtime dream come true, but also allows us to enjoy these masterpieces with many people who love sharing the beauty of music, one of many blessings God has given us. Please join me in inviting and encouraging our friends to come and join us!