Hoffman Estates, IL, December 14, 2015 – Pianist Ryan Shookman decided to create a holiday album that represented his family and benefited individuals with Down syndrome. He learned to play the piano with the help of his mother Maureen, and thus the idea for a four-hand collaboration began. As the process continued, Ryan realized he was leaving out a very important family member – his sister, Faith, a 25-year-old woman with Down syndrome.
To include Faith in the family project, Ryan and his mother named the album, “Four Hands for Faith”. In addition to having Faith’s name in the title, Shookman wanted to honor his sister by donating partial sales proceeds to an organization that celebrates and supports individuals with Down syndrome. After many attempts to engage organizations dealing primarily with research and legislature, Ryan discovered GiGi’s Playhouse. GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Centers is a successful and inspirational network of brick and mortar centers in communities across the country and in Mexico. GiGi’s offers more than 30 educational, therapeutic-based and career training programs completely free to individuals with Down syndrome and their families. Currently, in 27 locations, GiGi’s provides a place where families can come for lifelong support and celebration of different abilities. “My mother and I are thrilled about this because music is the international language coming purely from our hearts, and who better to know about hearts then the world of individuals with special needs,” said Shookman.
Ryan hails from southern California and now resides in Baltimore, Maryland. He has performed all around the United States, and abroad, including France, Italy, Poland, England, Spain, Turkey, and the Czech Republic. He is a solo artist and is in high demand as a collaborative artist. Four Hands for Faith is a collection of holiday music dedicated to family. Copies are available for purchase on November 14, 2015 for $15 each. They can be obtained at www.fourhandsforfaith.com. 25% of each purchase will be donated to GiGi’s Playhouse through December 31, 2015.