A suite duet…Cyndy and Ellen!

Dr. Madelaine Paschal

When the audience broke out in cheers and applause, Cyndy reached for Ellen’s hand and together, they bowed. The melodious notes were still in our ears. It was a breathtakingly pure and fresh performance. Her smile rested on the talented flautist standing in front of her piano. They had done it! A duet of sweet proportions had filled the ballroom where more than four hundred patrons of the kind of entertainment that only those who love the theater, performing, and audiences, had gathered. They bowed one more time to the still-applauding music lovers, and raised their entwined hands as if to say, ‘We did it for you,’ and they had.

Cyndy Gierada, a world-class pianist and entertainer, had given credit and her heart across the piano to her friend and duet partner, Ellen Entwistle. Without hesitation, Cyndy had acknowledged the lovely sounds of the flute that evening, performed by the talented magic of Ellen. They had performed together an amazingly gentle, yet profound rendition of the first movement of Suite Antique. But to us, their captivated listeners, it was one of the most memorable and captivating moments in our summer of 2019.

Cyndy, the multi-talented actress/musician, began her musical journey by the age of four and given her heart and soul to a spectacular performance and never once took all the credit. Instead, she wanted everyone in the room to thank the lovely flautist, Ellen. That is the sign of a true performer.

You see, Cyndy had grown up with music all around her, blessed to be a part of a musically-inclined family and, as a college student, was featured in the Detroit Symphony as first soloist under the direction of Andre Previn! Ellen, too, playing her beloved flute through childhood, studied music and math (modern-day and living proof that daVinci’s theory of the correlation between the two arenas of thought is a rare and perfect combination).

So, all this to say, that just when you think you have heard it all, seen it all, and felt it all, two richly-blessed talents create their own special kind of music, and you’re taken back to the first time you fell in love with a song, a moment, or a place in time. This was such a moment. Thank you, Cyndy and Ellen, for sharing your hearts, souls, and musical talent with me and us. You took my breath away.