With less than 24 hours to process the entire experience, Dallen Abernathy, a junior studying psychology, said he felt like he was given the opportunity of a lifetime when he was able to perform live with Alpin Hong.
Alpin Hong held a concert on Friday, April 29, for the students of BYU-Idaho in the Ruth H. Barrus Concert Hall located in the Eliza R. Snow Center for the Performing Arts, according to the BYU-I website.
Abernathy said he attended the rehearsal the day before the concert to give advice to the drummer of the concert. He said he ended up not having to give much advice to the drummer at all and left the rehearsal shocked and totally excited.
“I went to the rehearsal, which consisted of Rebecca Lord, her two assistants, the drummer, named Kyle, and the pianist was Alpin Hong,” Abernathy said.
Abernathy said after meeting him, Hong began to play an assortment of different musical numbers, including Mozart, the Harry Potter theme song and the Mario Bros. theme music.
“As he was playing these songs, this wave of inspiration came over me,” Abernathy said. “I was sitting one minute, and the next I was standing. I told him to keep playing what he was playing, then I sat down at the drums and started to follow along.The two of us jammed for around ten minutes and had the cleanest cut off. We ended on the same note, without notice.”
Abernathy said when they cut off, they both erupted in excitement.
“It was huge for me, because here’s this world class professional, and he is jamming with me, just a student, yet he was excited to do that with me,” Abernathy said.
Abernathy said Hong asked Abernathy to perform with him the next night. Abernathy said he left the decision up to the choir director. “We rehearsed about three times before we performed, but when we actually performed in the concert, the music was nothing like what we practiced,” Abernathy said. “For the most part, we improvised, and it worked out—it was just a jam session on stage.”
Abernathy said he felt so blessed to be on that stage with Hong and with the generosity Hong bestowed upon Abernathy.
“He even took the time to introduce me and the story of how we came to be,” Abernathy said. “I just felt extremely blessed because I am just one of many students. I’m not more important than anyone else, yet he was so generous with his time, and he gave me a spotlight during his concert.”
Abernathy said that when they finished the performance, the audience erupted in a way he had never witnessed an audience at BYU-I react before. He said he was beyond grateful for their excitement and that it made him feel excited.
“It was his concert — his concert, but he shared a piece of it with me, a college student, and I couldn’t be more honored,” Abernathy said.
Abernathy said he has been strengthening his musical capabilities since the age of five, when he first picked up learning how to play the piano.
“My entire family is very involved with music, but I tend to learn how to play from listening to the rhythm, notes, and beats of other musical pieces more often than reading notes,” Abernathy said.
Abernathy said he plays and sings music in hopes of being able to connect to others. He said he loves the feeling he gets when someone feels in tune with what he is presenting.
“I try to let the music flow from me, and it comes from my heart,” Abernathy said.”I only hope that people can feel that.”
“Hong’s goal is to bring audiences, both young and old, to their feet,” according to Hong’s official website.
Abernathy said he was astonished as he watched everyone at the concert, both young and old, rise to their feet at the end of Hong’s concert at BYU-I.