Photo by Yvonne Feaster
Katie Reimer, Music before the Storm at the Gables and
Katie Reimer, pianist, curated and performed in a concert in Weill
Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in April 2011, as a celebration for
the Pulitzer Prize winner composer Gunther Schuller's 85th
birthday, a performance reviewed by the New York Times.
On Monday October 30 at 1:30 p.m. in the Gables at East
Mountain, about 1 hour before Hurricane Sandy was due to arrive,
Reimer performed a concert for their residents.
That morning Reimer tried to take a train back to New York and
found all trains canceled. She took up the suggestion of Sallie
Gill, her hostess of the Antique Mansion Bed and Breakfast, and
called the Gables in Rutland Town, an independent living facility,
and said she understood they had a grand piano and asked if they
were interested in a concert. Katie Reimer had played a program at
Trinity Episcopal on Sunday and had that music to share.
Betty Clark and Alan Walker, well-known church musicians in the
area, play at the Gables where they live. Residents were used to
musical events but did not anticipate Katie Reimer. What a
Sheila Gedney, staff activities director, put up a sign and set
out chairs for a program after lunch. Residents anxious about the
arrival of "The Storm of the Century" discovered they were about to
Music by J. S. Bach, then Johannes Brahms both seemed
familiar; then followed 10 piano miniatures by Mohammed Frairouz,
individually introduced and finally a Chopin piece. Piano music by
Frairouz is one of the most frequently performed contemporary
composers, born in 1985.
Instead of waiting anxiously for the storm to begin, residents
were together in the living room listening, laughing and applauding
to a very talented pianist.
Residents were thanking Reimer when clouds began to darken the
sky. As they hurried back to their rooms the rain began to fall-
sheet after sheet and the wind to whip it around. Wind was blowing
through the air conditioners as a hawk circled on the east side
shrieking. The night promised to be terrible. The wind blew, the
rain swept in every once in a while but there were silent times and
most of the residents slept.
The Vermont morning was a sparkling, pleasant day-
nothing like Irene, but NYC faired worse.