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Bill Powers

Xavier Richert, pianist and church organist, opened a recent concert at Carolina Meadows by saying that perhaps he was the only performer who could say that he knew the names and even the addresses of most of the people in his audience.

Richert, after all, has been on the Carolina Meadows dining room wait staff for more than a year and, on many occasions, has served most of those who came to hear his piano concert. More than 80 residents filled the Fairways Gallery and enjoyed a delightful program that ranged from Bach and Beethoven to French love songs.

Hearing Richert, a graduate student in music at Duke University, reminds us how fortunate we are to have such gracious and gifted young people on our staff. And he has a sense of humor. A native of Alsace, France, he began the performance by playing a piece that was not on the printed program. When finished, with a twinkle in his eye, he said that it was the Encore. He had decided to play it at the beginning rather than at the end! With this humor, the gentle young man had won his audience.

The 45-minute program concluded with two songs made famous more than half a century ago by Edith Piaf. Many in the audience must have drawn from the recesses of their hearts and memories the sultry voice of the French singer, as Xavier played La vie en Rose and A Hymn to Love.

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