KALAMAZOO (MICH.) – When Edward Callahan started playing the piano at the age of 5, he might not have realized that his journey would inspire others. Callahan, a 2006 graduate of Kalamazoo Central High School, will be the featured artist at Gilmore Keysfest on Friday February 19 and 20. In addition to giving a virtual classical concert, he will participate in masterclasses for young pianists.
âI started going to Gilmore concerts as a kid and admired the pianists they brought to town,â said Callahan, who now resides in New York City. âIt was a dream to be a Gilmore artist and inspire other young musicians. This opportunity is incredible.
Callahan will also host a socially distanced 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. meetup on Thursday, February 18 on the second floor of the Radisson Plaza in downtown Kalamazoo. Those who want autograph copies of his album and his new book, “Little Eddie Goes to Carnegie Hall,” can get them then. Watch her video interview and learn more about how to attend the concert by clicking on the link below!
For more information or to attend the virtual concert, CLICK HERE!
Additionally, Callahan’s dream of performing at Carnegie Hall was captured in a children’s book, Little Eddie Goes to Carnegie Hall. The book, written by Sonya and Sean Hollins and illustrated by Dan Monroe, shares the importance of music and mentoring in the lives of young people. The story not only shares a story featuring African American male characters, it highlights musical terms and African American music icons who also performed at Carnegie Hall.
Callahan was surprised by the book after attending a virtual story hour by the Kalamazoo Public Library, one of the sponsors of their community concert. Bill Caskey, children’s librarian, invited Callahan as a guest to share his upcoming concert. When asked if he could stay during story time, he was shocked to learn that the book was based on his own life.
âI was in shock hearing the story,â Callahan said. âThe character’s name and the fact that he played the piano sounded familiar. It took me a while to realize, ‘hey, this is about me!’ â
Less than 24 hours after the books were released on Amazon, it reached # 87 for Best Children’s Books in the Performing Arts. Callahan’s journey to Carnegie Hall is still ongoing. However, as he works towards his goal, he dedicates himself to learning to master classical works while bringing a new face to classical music.
In the meantime, what started in Kalamazoo thanks to lessons from Ms. Billie Netterwald and performance camps at Gilmore has come full circle. He’s not only a spectator of the incredible talent The Gilmore brings to the community, he’s become one of them.
âI admired classic legends that looked like me,â he says. “I want to be able to do the same for young African American students who may not know that they too can have a career in classical music.”