Sounds for Sight Benefit Concert

Posted by Lindsey | Apr 08th, 2015

On April 25, 2015, Sight for Souls is hosting a benefit concert featuring the musical talents of Gretchen Hull, Anne Ku, and the Tenth Presbyterian Church Choir as well as a keynote speaker Solomon Mekonnen. The concert will be held at Tenth Presbyterian Church at 7:30pm.

Gretchen Hull is opening the musical portion of the concert. She will play a Bach Partita, a Chopin Barcarolle and Stravinsky's Petrushka.

Gretchen Hull is currently a doctoral student and graduate fellow at Temple University studying piano performance under Charles Abramovic. She received her master’s degree at the same and her undergraduate degree from Houghton College, where she studied under Fleisher student William Newbrough.

Gretchen Hull has performed recitals for WSKG’s televised series Expressions, the Classical Pianists of the Future series, the OASIS concert series, the Immanuel Episcopal Concert Series, and multiple times for the Civic Morning Musical Wednesday Recital Series at the Everson Museum of Art (Syracuse). A past participant in the Chautauqua Piano Program and the International Keyboard Institute and Festival, this summer she will be a participant in the PIANALE International Piano Academy and Competition in Schlitz, Germany. She has performed in master classes led by Garrick Ohlsson, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Jerome Rose, Marcantonio Balone, Angela Cheng, and Sonia Lee (harpsichord). Gretchen Hull is also a member of the newly formed Philadelphia-based piano trio, Trio Amaranth.

Anne Ku will command the majority of the second half of the concert, playing Tchaikovsky's violin concerto.

A native of Taiwan, violinist Anne Ku is an up and coming orchestral and chamber musician, as well as a dedicated teacher. A graduate of The Juilliard School, her goal in music is to inspire the next generation of classical musicians.

Anne Ku has received numerous prizes and honors, including First Prize in the Temple University Preparatory Concerto Competition and the South Orange Symphony Young Artists Competition. She was also a finalist in the 2007 Philadelphia Orchestra Greenfield Competition. Ms. Ku has soloed with many orchestras, including the South Orange Symphony and Temple University Orchestra. In 2011, she performed the Barber Violin Concerto with the National Repertory Orchestra under the baton of JoAnn Falletta.

Anne Ku served as Assistant Concertmaster in the 2011 National Repertory Orchestra. She has also played in the New York String Orchestra Seminar and the Aspen Festival Orchestra. An avid teacher, Anne Ku has established a teaching studio in her hometown of Princeton, New Jersey. She holds both Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Catherine Cho and Robert Mann. Anne Ku is currently playing on a 1906 Caressa and Francis violin, on generous loan from The Virtu Foundation.

The third musical performance will be the Tenth Presbyterian Church Choir, conducted by Luke Carlson. Luke is the Interim Music Director at Tenth Presbyterian Church. The choir will perform several Psalm Settings, one of which Luke wrote. The music of Luke Carlson has been described as "otherworldly" and "magical" (Philadelphia Inquirer). The Tenth Presbyterian Church Choir is a 50 member mixed vocal ensemble that sings regularly during Sunday evening worship services.

Solomon Mekonnen is the keynote speaker for the event. He was born and raised in Ethiopia. He tragically lost his sight at eighteen months due to a domestic accident. Amazingly, Solomon Mekonnen went on to earn his degree from a law school and serve as the legal advisor to the Ethiopian Secretary of Agriculture. He earned the Fulbright scholarship and attended graduated school at Columbia University in New York City, earning degrees in law, political science and philosophy. Solomon Mekonnen served as the Academic Dean of Trinity College in Florida for eight years while teaching classes in philosophy, government and history. He married his teenage best friend Teddy. Together they had five children and now have two granddaughters.

Currently Solomon Mekonnen manages a research and publishing foundation that develops verse-by-verse Bible commentaries. He also writes and edits Christian blogs on a variety of human-interest topics.

We are thrilled about the lineup of talent for Sounds for Sight!

Are you interested in a reduced parking ticket for the concert? Go to tenth.org/parking, click on "Garage and Lot Parking," and then follow the instructions for "Penn Garage."

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more updates in the days leading up to the concert. We are excited to enjoy music and speaking - all for the aiming of relieiving blindness in Jesus' name!