By Madison Butkus
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Seniors were given a musical treat this past Wednesday as classical and jazz pianist, Mark West, came to perform at the Center at The Heights (CATH) in Needham. Professionally performing and also teaching for years, West played an array of songs during one of his monthly performances at the Center.
This monthly piano program is offered in memory of Peter Kenney who was a lifelong student with an insistently curious spirit. Funding can be found from the generous contributions of his family and friends living in Guam, as well as from Karen and Robert Fritz who are known to be in laws by marriage and friends by choice.
West went on to play a variety of genres, some of which included classical and ragtime. Starting off with the famous Mozart himself, seniors could be seen smiling and dancing along with West as he played. One could not help but notice just how passionate and enthusiastic West was while playing the piano. His facial expressions matched beautifully with each theme from the songs that he played, which was further reciprocated by the crowd watching.
To finish off his hour performance, West played multiple George Gershman songs, including the very famous “I’ve Got Rhythm” which many seniors seemed to recognize immediately. To add some of his own personality into the music, West went on to state before starting this song, “Now for this next one, I like to really kind of improvise on this one, really make it into a little bit of a rap city, so it’s a … it’s gonna be something.” And that it definitely was!
Once West had finished, all the seniors could not thank him enough for taking the time to play for them. It was easy to see just how impressed the crowd was with West’s performance and piano-playing skills. Currently, West is playing shows within the Greater Boston area and was even implored by other seniors to play at different Senior Citizen facilities.