We had the good fortune of connecting with Harrison Sheckler and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Harrison, why did you pursue a creative career?
I was 6 years old when I started taking piano lessons and since then I’ve always known I wanted to be a professional pianist. It’s my passion! Though, at that age I also wanted to be a fireman, scientist, and a baseball player as many young boys do. One of my earliest memories is watching The Lawrence Welk show on PBS. The guest performers were captivating and his band was top notch. Mr. Welk was a showman and knew how to appeal to a crowd with his witty banter and excellent stage presence. He was one of my earliest inspirations. My love for the stage grew over the years through my involvement acting in local plays, competing in piano competitions, and performing recitals across the country. God blessed me with a talent and I believe I’m meant to share it with the world. My hope for the people who come to my shows is that they can forget their worries and troubles and find some enjoyment in their day. If they leave happier than when they arrived I know it was a successful performance.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The pandemic has presented many challenges as an artist, with many concerts and engagements cancelled. It was important to find new ways to share my music and I did so through social media and online collaborations. I left New York City on March 14th, 2020 anticipating a short absence. The Brooklyn College Choir had been preparing for performances with the New York Philharmonic, and then that was gone. Arriving home in Iowa, I found comfort in playing the beautiful song from the musical Carousel, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’ I embarked on collaborating online like so many others are doing. What started to fill the void of music collaboration has evolved to new meaning for me with the lengthened quarantine. The video cover featuring 300 people from over 15 different countries went viral on YouTube with 1.6 million views.

My success with this video paired with my musical background led to other career opportunities as a video editor. Since then, I’ve created videos for The New York City Ballet, the New West Symphony, Major League Baseball, countless college and professional choirs, and more. The pandemic also gave me more time to pursue my interests in composition. Pianist Jeffrey Biegel reached out to me in spring of 2021 to orchestrate his beautiful piano piece, “Reflection of Justice: An Ode to Ruth Bader Ginsburg” for piano. It was premiered on Oct. 7th, 2021 by the Dallas Symphony in their concert honoring the late Justice Ginsburg. It is the middle movement of Jeffrey Biegel’s piano concerto I am orchestrating titled, “Three Reflections for Piano and Orchestra”. The three movements are 1. Reflection of Freedom: An Ode to John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 2. Reflection of Justice: An Ode to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and 3. Reflection of Equality: An Ode to Martin Luther King. It will be premiered in 2022.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Most of my time is spent at the beautiful University of Arizona campus in Tucson, AZ as I am currently working on my doctorate in piano performance degree at their Fred Fox School of Music. On the weekends, I love to clear my head and hike in Saguaro National Park on the many trails or go with a group of friends to hike on Mount Lemmon. I am also a bit of a coffee addict, so I like to try new coffee shops around Tucson. Some of my favorite places are Caffe Luce on East University Blvd just across the street from campus and Decibel Coffee Works located at the MSA Annex. The Annex is a really cool place because it features locally owned businesses that are built out of modified shipping containers. I’m also a baseball fanatic, so I always love the chance when I get to travel to Phoenix to catch a Diamondbacks baseball game.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My piano instructors over the years, especially Jeffrey Biegel who I studied with at Brooklyn College for my masters degree and my current professor, Dr. John Milbauer at the University of Arizona where I am currently working on my doctorate in piano performance.

Website: www.harrisonsheckler.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/harrisonsheckler/?hl=en

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/harrison-sheckler-98a7a71a9/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HarrisonSheckl1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hsheckpiano/?show_switched_toast=1&show_invite_to_follow=0&show_switched_tooltip=0&show_podcast_settings=0&show_community_transition=0&show_community_review_changes=0

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/elc106

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