During these pandemic times, all of us have found different ways to soothe our souls, stay balanced, and maintain our physical and mental well-being. I enjoy reading and attend a monthly Zoom book club meeting. I escape into my woodshop every weekend, where I continue to work on endless house renovations. As weather permits, I play golf with a weekly foursome called the BGA (Bad Golfer’s Association). I also enjoy hiking, and occasionally walk a few blocks from my home to explore miles of paths throughout the Loch Raven Reservoir Watershed.
But there is one passion above these that takes me to a place deep within that dispels the days' stresses. My baby grand piano sits in the corner of my living room as it has for over 20 years and often invites me to play if only for my own enjoyment. I started playing the organ when I was 11 as I grew up in New York. As with most kids, I could not wait until my lessons were over to get outside to play stickball with my friends. But in no uncertain terms, my organ teacher would not relent. She was a wonderful lady, Ms. Simone, whose own mentor was the world-famous organist Virgil Fox. She was also quite talented, and on a few occasions played the organ at Radio City Music Hall. Unfortunately, none of her talents rubbed off on me. Nevertheless, I eventually graduated from organ to the piano. I am thankful for a gracious music teacher because few things bring me more joy today than playing the piano.
Listen to Dan Bailey's rendition of Over the Rainbow.
Trouble Playing? Listen on Vimeo
When my daughter got married this past June, COVID restricted our ability to do anything special. Our fully masked and socially distanced ceremony was only attended by the parents, the bride and groom, my Pastor, and the groom’s Cantor. I felt that I needed to do something special to commemorate the day. Stepping out of my comfort zone, I chose to play two songs on the piano that mean something only to my daughter, me and my wife who listened from above. We adopted my daughter from Russia, and these songs found a way to first communicate with a frightened Russian-speaking eight -year-old: “Over the Rainbow” and “Edelweiss”.