Memorable Performance

On October 16th, 2011, I experienced a live performance by Jackie Evancho in Pittsburgh at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts.  Needless to say, it was one of the most memorable performances that I have ever witnessed in my life.    Up until about two days before the concert, I hadn’t even contemplated being able to attend.  I had resigned to the notion that because Jackie was singing for her hometown of Pittsburgh, the tickets would be a rare commodity, even though I would only have a two-hour drive from my hometown to Pittsburgh, PA.  In addition, a hectic family life lead me to believe that even if I did get tickets, the possibility of having a free Sunday to attend would be remote.  Basically, I gave up too easily without even trying, making lame excuses — schedule conflicts, tickets are too expensive, my wife won’t want to go, too far to drive, etc..  Occasionally, I would make a feeble scan on the Internet for tickets, only to find nothing.  I was right to a certain degree, and was also wrong because of a lack of due diligence.  The tickets to the Pittsburgh concert did indeed sell out rapidly, and I just flat-out gave up and accepted the notion that I wouldn’t be able to attend.  Time to move on.

In the months that would go by after the concert had sold out, my admiration of Jackie Evancho grew stronger.  I had purchased her “Dream With Me” CD and DVD, watched countless YouTube videos of her past performances, and witnessed a tremendous amount of positive discussions about Jackie from people on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.  Those who had been to her past concerts had expressed a tremendous amount of joy from what they had experienced.  Suddenly, I was hooked.  The things that I had read and seen totally touched my heart and I had come to the realization that I needed to see Jackie perform live.  The need for this experience was nothing like I had ever known before.  It was almost as if my very soul was yearning for it.  I would never have thought that I would have such a strong sense of admiration for a little 11-year-old girl who just happened to sing with one of the most tremendous musical voices that I had ever heard.

About a week before the Pittsburgh concert, I had noticed comments on the Jackie Evancho discussion forums on Facebook in which people who would be attending the concert were beaming with anticipation. I will admit that I was envious.  I developed a tremendous yearning to be at the concert, but I had all but given up on the possibility.  Then something came over me.  Maybe, just maybe, tickets would become available if there were cancellations.  I have always believed that God hears our prayers and somehow answers them in ways we may not realize at times.  So, I left it in God’s hands.  If it was God’s will that I needed to attend, then somehow it would happen.  I resumed my search for tickets, contacting the Pittsburgh Opera, searching on-line ticket brokers, and even looking on Ebay.  As fate would have it, I would get a chance on the Tuesday before the Sunday concert to purchase two tickets that I had found on the Internet @ $85 a piece (one for me and my wife).  However,  I did not purchase them until I had a chance to check with my wife to see if she wanted to go, and if our schedule was clear or not.  Now, I have frequently been a victim of the old proverb, “He who hesitates loses out.”  Turns out, I fell victim again.  In the time that it took me to check with my wife, the tickets were gone.   Turns out, my wife told me she would love to go see Jackie and that our Sunday was clear.  Unfortunately, it appeared as though it wasn’t going to happen.  There it was, the chance I had been looking for and it just slipped away.  At this point, I was about ready to kick myself for letting a rare chance slip right through my fingers. I had thought that I had blown it.

Several days had gone by, and it was now Friday.  I had made a few last-ditch attempts to find tickets again up until this day, and nothing was coming up.  When Friday came, I had all but given up.  For whatever reason, I made one more last-ditch Internet search, and suddenly, there they were, two tickets right there in plain site on my screen, but they were pricey @ $166 per ticket + shipping.  At this point, cost meant nothing.  I would not hesitate again and made the purchase.  FedEx would have them in my hands by Saturday afternoon.  The total price was almost 3 times the $60 face value of the tickets, but it didn’t matter to me anymore.  My wife and I were going to Pittsburgh on Sunday.  All I could think about was the MasterCard commercials that chalk up all the costs for going to a concert, and then I would chime in with, “Attending a Jackie Evancho concert with your beloved wife on Sweetest Day weekend… Priceless! ”

In my opinion, the concert was worth every penny that I spent on those tickets.  The Benedum Performance Hall was one of the most spectacular venues that I have ever seen.  Jackie Evancho gave an absolutely amazing performance and my wife and I were in awe for having experienced it.  We had wiped our eyes frequently from the tearful emotions that Jackie invokes when she sings.  You can’t help but ask yourself, “How can such an amazing singing voice come from such a small 11-year-old child?”  It is truly amazing!

Before we knew it, the evening was over and we had returned home holding on to the fond memories that we had experienced on that Sunday, October 16th, 2011.  During our time in Pittsburgh, we also had met some of the fans that I had been corresponding with on Facebook, with whom I share a bond through our admiration of Jackie.  I wish that I could go back in time and experience it all again.

If I had only one regret is that if I had purchased my tickets at face value, the higher price that I spent could have been used to purchase a ticket to actually meet Jackie and her family (another dream that I would like to have come true someday), but I can’t complain;  I at least was able to attend a concert that I had once thought was totally improbable.  Being able to meet Jackie someday —  I guess I’ll leave that in God’s hands again.

Follow the link below to see a video of Jackie performing at this concert:

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Richard Mutton
    Nov 01, 2011 @ 22:32:23

    Dear Varnk,
    What a tremendous story…you are so lucky to have been only two hours away from the concert. I would be at least 24 hours away had I been able to go. I live in Australia!
    I was in your country in July NY to be precise for a family visit…nothing happening with Jackie that fitted in with my tight timetable.
    I did contemplate the Las Vegas concert at Christmas but family illness, my mother in law who is the greatest, is very ill and we hope she will last to the new year to see her latest great grandchild, God willing.
    I hope the good Lord will somehow get me to a concert one day. Jackie is inspirational. I played her video of Nessun Dorma to a group of children in our church…they were amazed…some cried. I am saving the Lord’s Prayer for Christmas.
    What irks me is the large number of videos that you can see in the US and we cannot get in AUS because of copyright restrictions and the like.
    Jackie’s overseas fans are being short changed. Why can’t one of her concerts, ie Pittsburgh be recorded and put up for sale ….even if only for sale outside the US.

    May God be with you


    • varnk
      Nov 02, 2011 @ 03:21:20

      Thank you for commenting. I feel for you on your desire to see Jackie in concert. I hope that someday your prayers are answered too. You just never know how the Lord responds to our needs. Stay positive!

      You are not alone in your frustrations about the concert videos. There have been fans in the US voicing their desire to purchase videos of Jackie’s concerts as well. It is really unfortunate that there are so many legal restrictions in the entertainment industry that I will never fully understand.

      If some of the children in your church wept during “Nessun Dorma”, you will have to have a whole lot of tissues on hand when you play “The Lords Prayer” for them. Good luck and God Bless!


  2. Trackback: Day 10 – Silent Night by Jackie Evancho « Cindy Holman's Blog
  3. Trackback: Another incredible day in Pittsburgh « Jackie Evancho Admirer
  4. Robbie
    Sep 13, 2012 @ 19:57:10

    I would love to see Jackie in person one day!! She is amazing 🙂 I am a HUGE fan!!


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