Pianist stops shoppers in their tracks

Jacinta CantatoreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Harvey resident Tamara Henry plays the piano at Eaton Fair shopping centre.
Camera IconHarvey resident Tamara Henry plays the piano at Eaton Fair shopping centre. Credit: Jacinta Cantatore – Harvey-Waroona Reporter

Harvey resident Tamara Henry has never let her significant health obstacles get in the way of her dreams.

The talented musician has been stopping shoppers in their tracks at Eaton Fair shopping centre and busking at other locations around Bunbury, as well as at the Harvey Show at the weekend.

Passers-by are left in awe of the pianist who cannot see the keys in front of her.

“My passion is music, complications with cataracts mean that I can’t see, but music really lifts me,” she said.

Ms Henry was born with cataracts in her eyes, which doctors tried to fix with cornea transplants when she was eight years old.

The procedure did not work and Ms Henry went blind at nine years of age and now wears a prosthetic eye.

The last movie she remembers seeing was The Lion King, which is filled with music and singing.

“I love music, it’s my passion in life,” Ms Henry said.

“I’ve now started writing my own music.”

Passer-by at Eaton Fair Katherine Reilly was stopped in her tracks when she heard Ms Henry playing.

“She is phenomenal,” Ms Reilly said.

Ms Henry was also born with several bone disorders which affect her face, wrist, back and ankles.

She has sought support from VisAbility since childhood for orientation and mobility services as well as occupational therapy and technology assistance in order to lead an independent life.

Ms Henry volunteers at a church in Harvey and at the Harvey Senior High School library.

“Tamara came to us last year as she wanted to help and to show her appreciation for all that we’d done for her when she was a student,” school library officer Sharon Simpson said.

“Tamara will play piano to students and they are simply blown away by her talents. It demonstrates that anything is possible no matter what obstacles you face.”

Ms Henry turns 26 this week and before her birthday next year plans to record and release an album of her own.

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