Music, philanthropy and fun all collided on November 17, 2018, when Rach and Bach rocked out with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Amateur musicians Dr. Quinn Peeper (Rach) and Attorney Michael Harold (Bach) performed “Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, op. 18” and “Bach’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in F minor, BWV 1056” to benefit the New Orleans branch of the English-Speaking Union.
After coming up with the creative name for their musical duo, Rach and Bach decided to put their musical prowess to use for philanthropy. Because Peeper is the national president of the English-Speaking Union (ESU), that organization was a natural choice for the benefit. Their performance offered something a little different for the ESU’s annual general meeting in New Orleans. “There is nothing like music to bring people together, but it’s not every day that a non-professional musician gets to play the piano with a magnificent orchestra like the LPO. This made it possible to tell our story and gather friends and music lovers for a night of classical music,” says Harold.
Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, the ESU was founded in the immediate aftermath of World War I to promote unification through a common language. “ESU is all about changing lives through our language,” says Peeper. “I like to use the acronym for education, scholarship and understanding. We raise money for programs to help educate people, and scholarships for teachers to study at Oxford, Cambridge and the Globe in London.” This global organization has benefitted New Orleanians in particular as well. For instance, Peeper started a Shakespeare competition for high school students which sends the Louisiana winner to New York City for a national ESU competition. In addition, the ESU also hosts lectures for New Orleanians on topics such as architecture, literature, politics, and history.
With their innovative approach to philanthropy and the arts, it’s safe to say that New Orleans hasn’t seen the last of Rach and Bach. So keep an eye out for future performances from this dynamic duo. “We’re looking forward to the next Rach and Bach event,” says Peeper. “It was too fun and fulfilling to retire!”
For more information, visit RachAndBach.com