Deafblind UK member, Mark, will entertain commuters by playing the Elton John piano at St Pancras station on Tuesday 25th June between 4pm and 6pm.
Mark Pampel from London has Usher Syndrome which has left him with no sight and very little hearing. But this hasn’t stopped him becoming a hugely successful pianist and composer. As lead pianist of the LSO Create Orchestra, Mark has played at the Barbican Centre as well as performing solo piano works at other local concerts.
To have the opportunity to play Elton John’s piano to crowds of commuters at St Pancras station during Deafblind Awareness Week really is a dream come true. He said: “I’m so excited to be able to show people that although deafblindness is extremely difficult to live with, it doesn’t have to stop you doing the things you love. I am fortunate enough to have some very good hearing aids which make the piano sound natural. Thanks to these, I use composing and improvising techniques to learn new music. I hear a piece of music and re-play it by working out which notes I hear. I can then improvise various parts to change the music and make arrangements of well known classical and popular music, as well as composing my own piano music.”
Living with a severe dual sensory loss is difficult but Mark has found music is a great therapy to help him cope. “It gives me the most amazing sense of wellbeing, I appreciate the discipline, love the creativity and the emotion of producing live piano music. Playing is so exhilarating – it’s a natural high for me!” he said.
Mark is supported by national charity, Deafblind UK. CEO Steve Conway said: “Mark is extremely talented and I’m astounded at what he has achieved with no sight and very little hearing. Deafblindness can rob you of so much, but to have the determination to follow your dreams and the confidence to perform in public like this is truly inspirational.”
Deafblind Awareness Week runs from 24th to 30th June. During the week, Deafblind UK and other charities will be hosting events and activities to raise awareness of combined sight and hearing loss. For more information visit www.deafblind.org.uk/deafblindawarenessweek.