Roll Over, Beethoven?

553 He started with "What a Wonderful World" and closed with "Let There Be Peace on Earth." In between, jazz pianist Harry Pickens played, led singing, offered reflections and prayed with some 100 Presbyterian peacemakers. Harry provided the program for the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program’s dinner and celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Commitment to Peacemaking.

Harry hails from Louisville and has worked with jazz giants such as Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, James Moody, and more.

He is a staunch supporter of the Peace Education Program in Louisville that strengthens communities and schools by training youth and adults to build and sustain positive relationships.

Harry worked with the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program for a number of years.

Due to factors of time and distance, commissioners and advisory delegates and others had to leave early. Some only got to hear one song. But several commented, "What a song! It was enough."

No doubt each person had her or his own favorite moment from the concert. For me, I summed up that moment when I told Harry, "I have heard many versions of ‘Ode to Joy.’ Now I have heard it played as Beethoven envisioned it."

Photo by Danny Brolin, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

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