The Sanborn House was filled with both people and beautiful music on Thursday, May 24, as Stage Music Center presented “Connecting with Music,” a benefit concert to support the Winchester Multicultural Network. Following brief introductions by Network Development and Communications Coordinator Elena Varipatis Baker and Stage Music Center Owner Rose Bogossian the program began.

As the pleasant spring breeze gently blew through the open doors, the first musicians took the stage and sat behind the baby grand piano, donated exclusively for the concert by Rogers Piano Outlet in Burlington. First to wow the audience were nine-year-old students Helena Brain and Tuyen Nguyen and Winchester High School student Andy Lo, all accomplished pianists who have played at Carnegie Hall.

Following them were a number of Stage Music Center faculty who double as professional musicians in the greater Boston area, including violin player Arpine Azatyan, cellist Robert Rivera, accompanied by percussionist Ed Conley, pianist Chiuying Lu, saxophonist David Stevens, and pianist Hanna Yukho. The performers played a range of pieces, from classical Chopin to experimental pieces to an original work by cellist Rivera.

Following the recital, guests lingered to meet the performers and enjoy an array of appetizers courtesy of Annoush’ella, a Lebanese restaurant in the South End owned by Winchester resident Nina Festekjian, and wine donated by Kappy’s Liquors in Medford.

The fundraiser, the first of its kind to benefit the Network, sparked great enthusiasm by all attendees, and has both Stage Music Center and the Network exploring other opportunities to partner in the future.

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