four-and-a-half, Shirley "Sorahlah" Barasch shows artistic
gifts: writing 'pomes' before she can spell or pronounce the
words; playing the 'pyeano' by ear-her "parlor trick"
according to her father. But suddenly tragedy strikes! Thrown
into a strict religious social order not ready for a woman-let
alone a young girl-to be independent and creative, Sorahlah adapts
on the fly. She re-orders her daily routine squeezing in piano
lessons, writing music, and poetry-often on the sly by flashlight
under the covers-in order to achieve her dream.
invites the reader on a visual and sensory journey of a gifted,
determined girl through the depression and World War II years
in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We meet unforgettable characters
through the Squirrel Hill section-bakeries, synagogues, schools,
businesses, riding the trolleys, forbidden backyard shortcuts
and even Kennywood Park in vivid details. The trip will be at
once nostalgic and fresh as we travel along with that child on
a heart stopping adventure of a budding artist coming of age.
Professional Purposes: An Artistic Journey is a testament to the power of the
determined will in all of us. This celebration of family life
includes a chapter of comfort food recipes and funny anecdotes.
Shirley's story is both humorous and touchingly sad-an emotional
roller coaster ride you'll not soon forget!
R. Barasch, Ph.D., currently lives in Mt. Lebanon, Pa., teaching
singing, composing and writing in her studio while trying hard
to keep track of ten grandchildren. She could never make up her
mind about what she wanted to be when she grew up, so she has
done it all. She is a composer, lyricist, singing teacher, published
poet/playwright, and teacher_educator.
the way she collected many awards: recognition for her appearance
in the Warner Cable Television Award Winning "The Value
of Music-_Movement in Early Childhood Education"; the
"Performing Arts Partnership Award" for contributions
to the arts; fifteen ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors
and Publishers) awards as well as being featured as a Guest Poet
of Taproot Literary Journal.
Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she served as Chair
for the Conservatory of Performing Arts; Director of Music and
Fine Arts, and as Teacher Educator/ Director of Student Teachers.
She created the "Starmakers Gala" and the "PAPA
Award" for the Conservatory raising money for the Pittsburgh
Playhouse and University. She has often accommodated students
who wanted a voice lesson over the phone. Now she can get them
ready for an audition on Skype!