Long time Miltonian Johann Derecho is presently in Toronto, studying the Artist’s Diploma Programme (ADP) at the
prestigious Glenn Gould School in the Royal Conservatory of Music.
He grew up in Milton, attending Hawthorne Public School and CKSS. Having served as a youth worship leader at New Life Church, he and his family also continue to volunteer there in the
worship ministry.
Johann’s exceptional musical talent has been lauded provincially as well as internationally. Some of Johann’s favourite pieces to play are piano music by Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Beethoven and Brahms
and also Scherzos and Nocturnes by Frédéric Chopin. Some time ago it was discovered that he had pain in his right
hand. When they checked videos of musical services at New Life Church in Milton it was realized that he had unfortunately had symptoms of dystonia for some time.
Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder often intensified by repetitive physical activity. On February 4th 2022 the New Life congregation prayed with him. “This day” recalls Johann, “was a few days prior to the audition for ADP (Masters in Performance).
We asked for the Lord’s blessings so I could play my best and be one of the best performers. The school only accepts 4 to 5 piano students auditioning from around the world. -Feb 7, 2022: ADP Audition I played miraculously without any finger related issues. Glory to God. Thank you Jesus!” On February 8, 2022: when Johann received the Artist Diploma Programme Audition results, one of the judges, John O’Conor,a world renowned teacher commented on being impressed with his performance and that he was already in the program unofficially…” Johann remembers that “he even commented on a world record speed in playing one of Chopin’s Etudes.”
In March 2022, the New Life congregation continued to pray often for Johann who was having problems playing pieces with which he had previously won competitions. Johann recalled “One of my teachers confirmed that my symptoms are of focal dystonia and suggested that I stop playing completely.
I missed playing in the school’s piano showcase and was exempted from playing at all my classes. The worry was that if I didn’t get healed, I couldn’t play my graduation recital and hence could not graduate. In the first week of April: I received my healing. Glory to God! By God’s grace I played without hitches. We thank the
Lord that New Life Church prayed with us!” Knox Church Milton recently opened their doors to the public
as Johann performed idyllic music from Chopin, Schubert, Rachmaninoff and Faure on the church’s grand piano. Johann’s brilliant performance was his second annual treat for the public at Knox. He will be warmly welcomed back to play again next year.

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