Arlington Pianist Works in Support of U.S. Troops


(Wednesday, November 21, 2007 9:57 AM EST)

Arlington resident and pianist Sheila Grimes has used her musical talents to help others for a long time, and this year she's embarked on a new project - raising money to support the men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Grimes recently recorded a CD, “Pianissimo,” which features a variety of low-key, relaxing works from both the classical and Broadway repertoire.

Tunes include “Edelweiss,” “Ave Maria” and “Memory,” among others. Proceeds from CD sales will go towards helping men and women in the U.S. military who were wounded in action.

“I can only give of myself, and I can give my music,” Grimes said in a recent interview.

Her son served in Iraq about two years ago, and she said she felt very fortunate that he came home unharmed.

Grimes, who has been playing piano since age three and has performed all over the world, has priced her CDs at $20, and is set on selling the 1,000 copies she ordered.

“I'm determined to sell all of them, if it kills me!” she said. “If I succeed, I should be able to give $18,000.”

An avid power-walker, Grimes has been selling her recordings to people she comes across on her four-mile loop. She also has asked local businesses, such as Safeway, to let her sell the CDs in front of their establishments.

As the wife of a retired Foreign Service officer, Grimes had the opportunity to perform for many charitable causes during travels with her husband. When the couple lived in Panama, for example, she raised money for a hospital with leukemia patients.

Grimes has lived in Arlington for the more than two decades, and for the majority of those years she has given daily concerts at many of the retirement homes in the metropolitan area.

So far, Grimes said she has received a lot of positive feedback on her current fund-raiser, and she hopes she successfully sells all the CDs so she can order a second batch and raise even more money for her cause.

For those interested in purchasing a copy of “Pianissimo,” call Grimes at (703) 532-5124.

Pianist Sheila Grimes is raising funds to support the men and women of the Armed Forces.

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