Need a break from holiday stress? Pianist Sheldon Pickering planning free concert

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Between office parties, family gatherings and lots of shopping, the holiday season is anything but a peaceful, relaxing experience for many folks.

But Kirtland pianist Sheldon Pickering is hoping to give local residents a break from all that with a free Christmas concert at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22at the RiverStone Church, 808 N. Monterey Ave. in Farmington.

“It’s a simple concert to capture the spirit of Christmas,” said Pickering, whose instrumental piano recordings have been downloaded more than a million times from digital platforms and built him an international following.

Pickering is promising a minimalist approach to the concert, with just him on piano and perhaps a guest vocalist or other instrumentalist on a few of the songs. He is planning on performing a mix of iconic holiday music and original pieces.

Pickering said he used to make a habit of performing a holiday concert each year, but the COVID-19 pandemic brought that to a halt. After consulting with officials at the RiverStone Church, he decided to bring the event back this year for the first time since 2018, albeit on a smaller scale than before.

“We just want to bring peace to people who are looking for it,” he said.

Pianist Sheldon PIckering will perform a free Christmas concert Thursday, Dec. 22 at the RiverStone Church in Farmington.

One reason he is looking forward to the event is because the church has what Pickering described as a spectacular organ. He plans on taking advantage of it during a performance of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”

“It’s the best one in town,” Pickering said of the instrument.

Pickering said he also enjoys the atmosphere at RiverStone.

“It’s got a historic and beautiful sanctuary,” he said. “It’s a real treasure in our community.”

Admission to the event is free, but donations will be accepted for New Beginnings, a transitional home in Farmington for survivors and families of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Call 505-327-0363 for more information.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 ormeasterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e.