By TAMMY TREAT

Log Cabin Staff Writer

Performer, Ken Medema, pianist and storyteller, will be in concert at Conway’s Woodland Heights Baptist Church March 2 and 4. Associate Pastor of Music and Worship, Reverend William Love, said admission is free to the public.

Medema, born blind, was intrigued by the piano from age 5. He learned to play by reading Braille music and also acquired the ability to play by ear. He is known for his improvisational style performances. He simultaneously renders the music and lyrics to a story developed by his audience.  

Medema graduated with a master’s degree in music therapy from Michigan State University. After working as a music therapist for several years he began to write songs about the lives of his patients. His therapy brought healing and solace to his young patients in a style they could respond and identify with the music.

Love said, Medema’s extemporization often consists of having an open microphone where an audience member gives an account of an event that affected their life and Medema will make up a musical rendition of the story. His expressions range from operatic to rock. 

The first of the two concerts is on March 2 at 7:30 p.m. This program will have a less serious theme. Love said “[Medema] will keep it relaxed Friday night and tell some stories, keep it fun, festive and light hearted.”

The Sunday night concert at 7:30 p.m. will have a more serious tone with a premise of faith, hope and love. Love said the focus is to “help stay on the journey, have hope in things that are enduring, and learn to love people who aren’t like us.”

(Staff writer Tammy Treat can be reached at tammy.treat@thecabin.net or 505-1277.)