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'Hats off to Life' concert dedicated to Ruth Perkl

Colton Peltier will perform in Hastings on June 26. He is a Hastings native. Photo courtesy of the Baton Rouge Symphony

Hastings pianist Colton Peltier and Ruth Perkl, mother of St., St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish pastor, the Rev. James Perkl, had a special bond.

When Perkl died last December, Peltier wanted to do something special in her memory.

"Hats Off to Life," a concert in memory of Ruth Perkl, will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, at the church, 2035 W. 15th St.

The concert features Peltier and harpist Amanda King.

"I became involved with this concert after Father Jim's mother, Ruth, passed away this winter," said Peltier. "I emailed him shortly after and told him I would like to do a memorial concert for her because she enjoyed my music so much and was a real supporter of mine. I always enjoyed talking with her after Mass and she always encouraged me. I knew this is something she would love."

Father James Perkl was very supportive of a concert.

"Father Jim was excited about it and had also received a message from Amanda King so we thought it would be wonderful to do a concert together," said Peltier.

The selections that Peltier will play also held special significance -- Beethoven: 15 Variations and Fugue in E flat op. 35; and Rachmaninoff: Piano Sonata no. 2 op. 36.

"I chose these pieces because I played them for my jury's (special performance before a panel) this spring where I attend school at Juilliard," he said.

More than 100 hats that belonged to Ruth Perkl will be on the display for the silent auction. A boutique of various items will be available for sale. Proceeds from the silent auction and boutique will benefit the Hastings Total LifeCare Center.

"As we began talking about it we thought The Total Life Care Center would be a great place for any donations to go to," said Peltier. "Father Jim is very involved with the center and I also think it is a wonderful cause that I support fully. It should be a great night for everyone."

Ruth Perkl died Dec. 23, 2012, and had lived in Edina.

The concert is free and open to the community.

Hastings Total LifeCare is a life-affirming non-profit ministry established to serve individuals and families in crisis by offering education, mentoring and parenting classes. Free services are provided.