9-year-old Shelton piano prodigy featured in benefit concert

Shelton Pianist Minho Chung will be among the advanced students of pianist Kyong Hee Cho performing in the 15th Annual Playing by Heart benefit concert on Dec. 11, 2021, at the Faust Harrison Piano Store, 322 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield. The concert will begin at 6 p.m.

Shelton Pianist Minho Chung will be among the advanced students of pianist Kyong Hee Cho performing in the 15th Annual Playing by Heart benefit concert on Dec. 11, 2021, at the Faust Harrison Piano Store, 322 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield. The concert will begin at 6 p.m.

Contributed photo

SHELTON — A local 9-year-old piano prodigy will soon be tickling the ivories for a worthy cause.

Pianist Minho Chung will be among the advanced students of pianist Kyong Hee Cho performing in the 15th Annual Playing by Heart benefit concert on Dec. 11 at the Faust Harrison Piano Store, 322 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield. The concert will begin at 6 p.m.

“When I play the piano, I feel relaxed and happy. Also, I feel pride and joy when I accomplish something, such as playing at a concert successfully or memorizing a piece,” Minho said about the desire to perform before the crowd.

“When I get stressed, playing the piano helps me calm down and gives me comfort,” Minho added. “I love playing piano a lot because it does a lot of good things for me.”

Proceeds of the concert will be shared by the Kevin M. Eidt Memorial Scholarship Fund and Wilton Roots of Music.

The Kevin M. Eidt Memorial Scholarship was established in honor of Kevin Eidt, a 1996 graduate of Norwalk High School who died from cardiac arrest during his freshman year at Boston College. The fund recognizes outstanding achievement in academics, athletics, arts, and community and religious commitment.

Roots of Music is a non-profit camp run by Wilton High School students that offers free individual music lessons during a week-long summer session.

Cho and her students are back before a live audience after the pandemic required last year’s concert be held virtually.

Minho began playing piano at 6 and takes lessons once a week and practices an hour each day.

“I enjoyed playing piano and singing with my mom long before I took piano lessons,” he said. “I was attracted to playing the piano because it made me think and it was very interesting to make beautiful melodies if I pressed the notes at the right time and correctly. I felt like it was mathematical.”

This is Minho’s second year performing in the concert. He will play Mozart’s Sonata K 331 (AllaTurca).

While many would feel anxiety before the crowds, Minho said the pleasure of entertaining others helps to overcome any tension.

“It is very exciting to me because I get to share my talent with people,” he said. “However, it is also very challenging and makes me feel a bit nervous.

He said live performances are more challenging than virtual ones.

“Playing in front of a live audience makes you practice more, but if you succeed, you are rewarded,” he said. “I feel like I can experience a ‘real’ benefit concert even though I only get one shot to get it right.”

The Faust Harrison Piano Store is a new venue for the performers. Although past concerts have been hosted by local churches and the Wilton Library, a portion of the proceeds was lost to rental of the space.

Faust Harrison Pianos will host the concert for free, ensuring that all proceeds go directly to both charities.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com