A longtime community figure is bringing back his annual piano concert, this time to support Longmont’s Recovery Café.
Dale Sherrod has planned and performed roughly 20 piano concerts in Longmont since 1998, always with the intention of benefiting a community organization. Dale’s Piano Playhouse returns to the stage for the first time since COVID on Nov. 12 at the CentraLongmont Presbyterian Church.
“To me, it’s a way to show love and show joy and sometimes we bring in some finances which can help an organization,” he said.
The free show will be from 3-4 p.m. with a post-concert reception held downstairs in the Café from 4-5 p.m. Donations will go to the Recovery Café.
Sherrod has lived in Longmont since 1965, when he moved here to practice as an OB-GYN doctor. He’s been volunteering at the Recovery Café for several months and speaks highly of the organization, which provides a community space for people in recovery from addiction and other mental health issues.
As an Ambassador of Hospitality, Sherrod chats and spends time with members of the Café.
“I’m trying to learn to be a listener and, to me, that’s a good thing to do when somebody wants to come here and talk, if they want to talk,” he said.
Virginia Dutkin, director of philanthropy for the Recovery Café, explained that the nonprofit emphasizes fostering feelings of belonging. She feels that Sherrod’s concert is all about building community.
“I’m a strong believer in the importance of community, that everybody has to have someplace where they feel like they belong and that they’re accepted and supported,” she said. “That’s what I think Recovery Café provides to some of our most vulnerable community members, but I think especially after the loneliness and isolation of COVID it’s more important than ever.”
The upcoming event is Sherrod’s first Piano Playhouse to benefit the Recovery Café. He will be one of four performers, noting that he is the only “ameteur” among them.
Other artists include Scott Hamlin, artistic director of the Longmont Chorale, Karen Main, accompanist for the Longmont Chorale, and Paula Muncy, pianist at Longs Peak United Methodist Church.
“I’m one of four, and they’re so good to work with,” Sherrod said. “They’re very nice and they’re skilled. It’s an honor to work with them.”
Sherrod said that though a few serious pieces will be played, the hour-long concert itself won’t be too serious. It will include a variety of piano pieces including classical, ragtime, polka and compositions by Scott Joplin and Chopin.
Sherrod hopes attendees walk away feeling some of the joy and love that he himself finds in piano music.
“There’s a little bit of a performing bug in me, I guess. I want it to be healthy,” Sherrod said. “I don’t want it to be selfish, but it’s kind of fun to perform in front of an audience. If the audience likes it, I maybe feel like I’ve spread some joy or some love. Music is a great spreader of love.”
Dutkin hopes that audience members also walk away with a better understanding about the services Recovery Café provides, whether that be as someone who might benefit from being a member or a volunteer.
“Not just that we’re here, but that we provide a community of support and caring for people in recovery from not just addiction but also mental health challenges and trauma,” she said.
While tickets are free, attendees are asked to RSVP at [email protected].