PUNTA GORDA — Venice virtuoso Brian Gurl headlined a tribute to our military veterans Friday at Burnt Store Presbyterian Church in Punta Gorda.

Considered a child prodigy on piano when he was little more than a toddler, Gurl blossomed into a complete entertainer, with songs and pattern added to his piano-playing skills.

The red, white and blue tribute featured songs and scores by the likes of Irving Berlin, George M. Cohan, Woodie Guthrie, Elvis Presley, Elton John, Mariah Carey, Lee Greenwood and others. Russian-born and Moscow Conservatory-trained Katherine Alexandra and vocalist Michelle Pruyn added their own considerable talents to the show.

Whenever Gurl and Alexandra appear on stage together, a piano duel becomes part of the show. Within seconds, there is a lot of head-shaking in the audience by folks trying to figure out how they can do that. For this concert the fueling pianos will battle “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

Pruyn, music director for the Bay Point Methodist Church—formerly the Jesse Knight Memorial Church in Nokomis—added her considerable talent to the show, as did three additional musicians.

Friday’s musical experience was an overall thrilling tribute to the men and women who have sacrificed so that others may enjoy a wonderful event in Punta Gorda.

Check page 7 for Veterans Day events and closures.

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