Dan Ellsey/Ben Burke collaboration “Piece of Mind”
7:00pm EDT May 7, 2013
A return engagement for Dan Ellsey, a young man with celebral palsy, who does not walk nor speak, but has a gift of writing and performing his own music. Working with a groundbreaking music system developed by MIT’s Tod Machover and his team, Ellsey has been able to collaborate with talented young men and women to compose and conduct his original work. This year, Ellsey is collaborating with Merrimack sophomore Benjamin S. Burke of No. Falmouth, MA, a psychology major who is minoring in Fine Arts/Music at Merrimack.
This concert begins with an original song by Ben Burke, a special performance by Mackapella, and the special performance of Piece of Mind, accompanied by three guitars, drums, and a full choral arrangement by Mackapella, Merrimack’s a capella group. In 2011, Ellsey collaborated with then-senior Jocelyn Cordell on Memories of Autumn: Trust in the Value of Friendship.
This event will highlight Ellsey’s journey into the world of music. Free and open to all. A reception follows.
“I was incredibly moved by Dan’s story with what he has been able to accomplish and overcome,” said Burke. “Dan and I come from radically different musical backgrounds, but our passion and drive for the sake of our music is very much the same. There were great sparks of inspiration, times of laughter and joy, and celebration of creating something very special after a year of long work and dedication.”