It Takes A Village!
By Joseph Bennett
Meet Pablo Leñero, a 22-year-old from San Miguel de Allende with a huge dream. Leñero started playing the piano when he was nine years old. He begged, pleaded, and cajoled his mother to enroll him in piano lessons. Piano? Really? Wouldn’t you prefer guitar, violin, or clarinet? They´re beautiful instruments, small, portable, not that expensive. No, piano.
Sat, Aug 20, 5pm
St Paul’s Church
200 pesos general admission, 250 VIP
415 103 8027
So, piano it was. His great-grandmother had an antique vertical piano that nobody played, and with a lot of huffing and puffing, it was moved into the living room of Leñero’s home, and there the magic began. He would play day and night and would wake his family every morning with the Mexican national anthem.
Leñero moved from Mexico City, where he was born, to San Miguel when he was 15. And with him came, of course, his piano. The family built a small home, and the living room was actually made a little bigger to accommodate it. Here Leñero finished high school and studied music under the guidance of Mauro Ledesma, a well-known pianist here in town.
Fast forward a few years. Leñero recently auditioned and has been accepted for piano performance/composition at the prestigious CalArts. CalArts is very selective, the acceptance rate being around 27 percent compared to 40 percent in other music schools. It’s a fabulous opportunity for Leñero, but tuition is US$45,000 a year, and a bit more if he also wants to eat, have a place to sleep, and if he develops a yearning for wearing clothes. You get the point. As of now, he has received a scholarship for US$20,000 based on need and merit from the school, and almost US$3,000 from loving family members, friends, and incredibly kind members of the SMA community who have donated through Leñero’s gofundme page (gofundme.com/helpablo).
There’s also an exciting opportunity later this month to meet this talented, hardworking, enthusiastic young musician. On Saturday, August 20, at 5pm at St Paul’s Church, Pablo is playing a selection of his own original compositions and pieces by Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, and Gershwin. Invited guests are maestro Mauro Ledesma, pianist; the singer Xavier Gibler; and composer Phillip Sumner. Leñero’s first CD, Piano Fuerte, was released earlier this month and will available at the event. Tickets will be sold at la Conexión, the box office at St Paul’s on the day of the concert, or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join Pablo Leñero and support this talented musician in making this world a better place through his music. It takes a village!