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June 8, 2010 > Natural sight

Natural sight

By William Marshak
Photos By William Marshak

"Disability" is often used as a description of specific attributes with broad implications but little substance. For instance, a person may not be a great athlete, but can exhibit outstanding talent elsewhere. Is this person disabled or a complex being with strengths and weaknesses - characteristics we all share?

Mr. Markus Choo presents an interesting counterpoint to the broad and limiting use of the term disability. In a piano recital held at the California School for the Blind (CSB) in Fremont, the joy, value and "sight" of music was on full display. Choo entertained an enthralled audience with a variety of compositions that transcend traditional definitions of sight. All the colors, textures and visions of music were on full display for the audience without regard to visual acuity.

Blind from birth, Choo has been a musical prodigy from an early age through the inspiration of Pediatrician Dr. Oh who taught him "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and his father, who played the piano for his son. His amazing musical journey continued with the assistance of teachers Debbie MCtaggert, Elizabeth Coard and Wayne Silego at CSB. Mr. Choo has been widely recognized by many musical organizations including the National Federation of Music Clubs and the National Music Federation.

Markus played with the CSB jazz band for over seven years and his accomplishments include performances for a wide variety of events in places ranging from conventions to the state capitol. He demonstrates his extraordinary talent playing professionally. With a highly unusual gift of perfect tonal pitch and an excellent memory, he can recall a melody with pinpoint accuracy. The piano recital of Markus Choo at CSB on June 2 was more than a demonstration of accomplishment over adversity, rather a celebration of music at its core; joy, complexity and... pure vision.

Written with assistance of Letitia Tumaneng, California School for the Blind.

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