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Twin Cities wedding and event pianist, Sharon Planer, loves the adventure of bringing events to life with her live piano music!

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funeral
Song adds personal touch to funeral
April 13, 2014

A family member asked me to provide piano music for a memorial service. A young adult wanted to honor her great grandfather by singing a special song that she had learned as a school choral piece. The song is called, 'Farvel' (farewell), aka 'You Will Always be in My Heart'. The poem was written by Halvor Langslet in 1899 and the music was composed by Daniel Pederson (copyright 2007). This was a new song to me and it turned out to be so beautiful and perfect for the service!  I just had to share it here. There is no recording of our performance, but I found a YouTube recording as a choral performance. You can read the lyrics and story in the image below this clip.

song lyrics to 'Farvel'
2 Comments
Funeral & Memorial Music
funeral, memorial service, piano music, singer
Opera singer from Albuquerque meets pianist from Minnesota
June 10, 2013

by Sharon Planer, Pianist for Parties

When I received a phone call from a gentleman who needed a pianist to provide piano accompaniment for an opera singer from Albuquerque, I was immediately intrigued! 

The event was a memorial service for the gentleman's mother.  He lived in Albuquerque and his mother had spent the last several years of her life there as well. She had lived most of her adult life in a lovely home deep in the woods on the shores of one of Minnesota's beautiful lakes and the family wished to host her service in this beautiful setting!

Mezzo-soprano, Denise Wernly

Mezzo-soprano, Denise Wernly

A particular opera singer, Denise Wernly, had become a favorite performer of the mother and family while in Albuquerque. Denise was invited to come to Minnesota to perform for the memorial service....and to the family's delight, she agreed!  She sent me her music ahead of time and arrived a day before the event giving us a chance to practice together. 

The family put a lot of thought into the music choices. The service began with Bach/Gounod's 'Ave Maria' followed by 'Pie Jesu' from Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Requiem Mass'.

Denise's voice soared and the guests were touched with the emotion and beauty of the music.

The beautiful setting of the home reflected a place where many of the guests had spent time and had wonderful memories. Some of the guests shared their personal memories during the service.

'Silent Night' is not a typical song to be performed for a funeral or memorial service, but this song had particular importance and was the concluding piece.  

The guests were then treated to some lighter musical fare with the beautiful melody of 'La Vie en Rose'. The atmosphere really came alive with some opera favorites . . . 'Voi che Sapete' from Mozart's 'The Marriage of Figaro' followed by 'Habanera' and 'Seguidilla' from Bizet's 'Carmen'.  

It was a pleasure to provide piano accompaniment for Denise. I enjoyed her music and talent immensely!  Her music and the thoughtful comments of the guests memories made this service a unique and beautiful celebration of a life of a special woman who will live on in the hearts of many. 

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Musicians, Piano Music, Funeral & Memorial Music
funeral, memorial service, accompanist, opera, Denise Wernly
Music adds beauty to difficult times
April 10, 2013

by Sharon Planer, Pianist for Parties

"You must love having a profession that involves participating in happy events" was a comment I received this week when meeting a gentleman for the first time.

I heartily agreed that I love sharing my piano music for events that celebrate happy occasions. Tailoring my piano repertoire for anniversaries, birthdays, corporate milestones, graduations, engagement parties, and weddings is great fun!

 

 

 

But I reminded him that some events such as funerals are solemn and at times heartbreaking for many of the guests.

My comment caused him to recall his father's funeral and how important the music was to his family.

This week two separate events caused me to reflect on the effect music has during times of bereavement. Earlier this week I had a lovely grand piano at my fingertips just inside the main doors of a beautiful funeral home. As guests arrived for the visitation with the family they were greeted with colorful floral arrangements, a flowing fountain, and my elegant piano music. The visual and musical atmosphere helped create a relaxed and welcoming setting. Guests would occasionally stop by the piano to comment on the effect of the music. Even though this was a time of sadness, the music helped create an uplifting atmosphere.

his evening there was a intimate memorial service for a gentleman from my local church. As guests gathered to greet the family, I softly played songs of faith. During the service I loved accompanying the guests as they sang the family's choice of well-loved hymns. This allowed the guests to express their hope and faith through music. The widow told me that the funeral was 'so perfect' and was exactly how her husband would have wanted it. 

he quote from Aldous Huxley sums it up beautifully. "After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."

Have ou experienced an event where music really affected the setting in a significant way? I would love to hear your comments!

 

 

 

3 Comments
funeral, memorial service, visitation