The Piano Guys serenade little girl at Tuacahn thanks to Make-A-Wish Foundation

Pianist and songwriter Jon Schmidt and cellist and songwriter Steven Sharp Nelson with The Piano Guys play a private concert for Grace Barlow through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Ivins, Utah, Nov. 7, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

IVINS  The Piano Guys performed a private concert Wednesday for 9-year-old Grace Barlow, an event made possible by Make-A-Wish Utah, an organization that creates “life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses,” according to the organization.

Cellist and songwriter Steven Sharp Nelson with The Piano Guys laughs with Barlow family during a private concert for Grace Barlow through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Ivins, Utah, Nov. 7, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The concert was held in the auditorium of the Tuacahn High School for the Performing Arts in Ivins, where The Piano Guys performed for the Barlow family, with Grace as the guest of honor. The family lives in Cedar City.

Her primary condition is cerebellum hypoplasia, which occurs when the cerebellum is not completely developed or is smaller than it should be, and is generally associated with other underlying conditions or disorders. She is on a feeding tube and generally nonresponsive except during rare moments.

Brian Barlow said his daughter “really likes music, and when the choice came around we chose the Piano Guys playing for her because the songs they perform, particularly certain songs, are those that she really responds to,” he said.

Barlow added that it is difficult for those not close to the family to see any response from his daughter in any situation. However, those close to the child can tell when she gets excited, which occurs when she hears The Piano Guys music.

Make-A-Wish Utah gets a list of names of children who have a life-threatening illness or condition, and sets out to make each wish happen, Make-A-Wish host Lacey Nielsen said.

Jeff Germain, owner of Chef Hog Cafe, hosts a dinner for the Barlow family after private concert featuring The Piano Guys at Tuacahn Center for the Arts High School, Ivins, Utah, Nov. 7, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Jeff Germain, St. George News

“The reason the Piano Guys are here is because little Grace reacts to their music, and her parents always play their music at home,” said Nielsen, who is based in the Make-A-Wish Utah headquarters in Murray. For more information on Make-A-Wish Utah click here.

Immediately after playing for Grace, The Piano Guys performed for the student body of Tuacahn High School, and will do three full-length concerts at Tuacahn Amphitheater Nov. 8-10.

The Piano Guys started in St. George and now travel the world performing concerts and creating classically influenced viral instrumental music videos in unusual and beautiful locations like the Great Wall of China, Rio de Janeiro and Petra.

The group is composed of pianist and songwriter Jon Schmidt, cellist and songwriter Steven Sharp Nelson, music producer and songwriter Al van der Beek, and producer and videographer Paul Anderson. Schmidt and Nelson first performed together when they were 15 years old.

For Tuacahn High School’s principal, Drew Williams, having The Piano Guys perform for the child was “so very touching,” he said, adding that the performers “are some of the finest guys in the industry.”

Jeff Germain, owner of the Chef Hog Cafe, played a role in making the event happen for the Barlows. Later in the evening he hosted a dinner for the family and performers at his restaurant at the Tuacahn Amphitheater.

Germain has been involved in a number of community projects, including the Shop With a Cop program.

St. George News reporter Mikayla Shoup contributed to this report.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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