CELEBRATIONS

Lynn Baptist benefactor of Steinway Grand Piano

Kathryn SwanJ-C Correspondent
Lynn Baptist benefactor of Steinway Grand Piano

Former Pawhuskan Diane Simpkins donated her grandmother’s Model “O” Steinway grand piano to Lynn Baptist Church. In a letter accompanying the piano, Simpkins said, “Music is the international language of Mother Earth. All people respond to the song of a bird and the beat of the drum. The Steinway piano belonged to my grandmother. My mother started piano lessons at the early age of three.” When Simpkins inherited the piano, the finish was black and very checked. Realizing its true beauty, she shipped back to Steinway, requesting that they restore it to its original finish.

A concert honoring Ms. Simpkins’ generous gift was held Sunday afternoon, November 9th. Performing was pianist/vocalist Wade Daniel of Bartlesville. Unfortunately, health issues prevented Ms. Simpkins’ attendance.

Daniel’s mesmerizing performance demonstrated his incredible talent and the Steinway’s grandeur. The beauty of each song was intensified as he shared a little history about its origin. His fingers glided smoothly over the ivory keys, flowing seamlessly from one tune to another. His music touched on classic hymns, jazz, pop and rag, songs of love and laughter as well as audience requests.

Daniel played each request effortlessly as if he had spent weeks practicing on each tune. He also talked about his love of music and how, as a young child, his adopted family bought an old upright piano for him and his sisters. That upright piano was the catalyst for Daniel’s calling and passion for music.

A Minister of Music for the First Baptist Church in Bartlesville, Daniel is also a piano instructor at Oklahoma Wesleyan University and a banquet entertainer. He has been on tour with both the “Singing Men of South East Texas” and the Grammy and Dove nominated “CenturyMen Choir.” The combination of his versatility and adaptability ensure an inspirational and entertaining program for all audiences. He has music degrees from Lamar University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Daniel is married to Becky Chambee. The couple has one daughter, Ashley.

Daniel currently has nine CD’s featuring both his vocal and piano abilities. These include Carols (A Christmas Celebration), Hymns (Piano Mediations), Pop and Rag, Songs of Life, Love and Laughter, All that Jazz, Keepsakes (Beauty & the Beast, Unchained Melody, etc.), Classics (including Lara’s Theme from ‘Dr. Zhivago’), Treasures (Nostalgic Piano Reflections) and One Wish (original songs by the artist himself).