Memorial website in the memory of your loved one
This memorial website was created in the memory of Giancarlo Colombo who tragically passed away on May 30, 2005.

Although I never had the opportunity to know this young man his story has touched my life. I hope that his friends, family and colleagues will help me fill these pages in tribute to his life.

And I hope in some small way this website brings comfort to those who were honored to have known him.

This website is a permanent tribute to Giancarlo, I have paid for the hosting and a portion of that payment has been designated for donation to Teen Lifeline. Please feel free to add your thoughts, photos, light a candle, email me documents or whatever you want included. This is for you, with love from me.

Namaste,
Toni Riss
Garland, Texas


Tributes and Condolences
10 year   / Andrea Colella-Albino
This year it will be 10 years since you left us. 10 years, it is a lifetime. The pain is still the same, maybe different. it is still there in the eyes of your parents, behind the smiles in the family gatherings, deep inside. We try to mask it, we tr...  Continue >>
After All These Years   / Toni Riss
It's hard to believe that some time has passed since Giancarlo left us. For me the sadness still creeps in when I least expect it. I was blessed to be given a gift of his music by him mom, Sumico. I listen to him playing and am always taken in by his...  Continue >>
Missing you   / Jennifer Colombo (1st cousin )
Wow I didn't know this website existed.  I just would like to say that I miss Giancarlo so much and hope he's finally happy...wherever he is. 
Missing you...   / Victor Cager (Friend)
Young Lion You made quite an impact on the Dallas Jazz scene we talk of you often !!!!!!!!!!
Even now, more than five years later..   / A. Friend
remembering the day you left us is still so hard for me. It makes me want to throw up. In these last five years I've learned that people as genuinely good as you don't come around often in life. I wish I could have told you that and I'm sorry I d...  Continue >>
Moving On, Never To Be Forgotten  / Toni Riss     Read >>
Dear Giancarlo  / Jerry Su (friend)    Read >>
The Journey  / Toni Riss     Read >>
Still miss him.  / MS     Read >>
It Seems Like Yesterday  / Stanford Alum (Friend)    Read >>
love and prayers  / Tommy Heyne (Best highschool friend )    Read >>
The Kindness of His Heart  / Linda Brown (friend/tutor for my son )    Read >>
Thank you  / Angelina Colombo (Aunt)    Read >>
To Some Reflections  / Toni Riss (Friend of Family )    Read >>
Some reflections  / Not Saying     Read >>
More tributes and condolences...
Click here to pay tribute or offer your condolences
His legacy
2002 Article About Giancarlo From His Alma Mater  
A new commitment turned the accomplished piano work of Giancarlo Colombo ’02 into artistic expression - By Tom Pruit Making beautiful music “It has been very exciting to watch Giancarlo develop over the past eighteen months,” says Dr. Steve Hall, the piano teacher of Giancarlo Colombo ’02. “Most students merely play the piano, placing their hands on the keys, striking the notes correctly, performing a piece with accuracy and skill. Giancarlo, however, is among the few who raises his performance to a higher artistic level. He turns his practice into understanding, assimilating his knowledge of the piece and his technical mastery into an expression of emotion, giving the music an intensity, a shape and color, a life of its own. It has been a real joy to see Giancarlo translate his technical mastery of the piano into an understanding and expression on such a profound, elemental level.” Such mastery is not accomplished without both considerable natural talent and a serious commitment of time and energy. Giancarlo’s case certainly illustrates this. “All through middle school and the first part of high school,” Giancarlo reflects, “the balancing act between managing the serious academic program at Cistercian and my quasi-serious commitment to music wasn’t too hard to manage: I did my schoolwork and played in my off-time. I practiced virtually everyday, but if I got in an hour or even just a half hour, that was big time.” But over the summer of 2001, everything changed. His practice of classical music, which he had viewed primarily as a way to “nimble up” his fingers for jazz, became a more serious devotion. “I suddenly took a strong liking to it and decided subconsciously to take advantage of everything my teacher Dr. Steve Hall could offer me. All the elements were in place: a superlative teacher, a Yamaha grand piano (which my parents had invested in for my sake), parents who not only took me out to concerts but who also allowed me the luxury of practicing at home whenever I had the urge, and the prospect of a long summer uninterrupted by any extended vacations.” As his commitment deepened, a transformation began. “During that summer I came to realize that a teacher can only do so much before he has to turn it all over to the student. At some point the student needs to take all that’s given to him and process it, internalize it and make it his own.” In addition, Giancarlo’s teacher thought his motivation would be sharpened by the prospect of participating in a major competition. Giancarlo never had any qualms. “An exterior pressure, whether it is a competition in an artistic program or a grade in an academic subject, can be a very good thing. I had never done a major competition before —now suddenly I was preparing six months in advance for a big piano concerto competition — but I jumped emphatically at the challenge to study a real piece, like the pros play! I sat down every day that summer for four hours and practiced, sometimes only classical, sometimes both classical and jazz.” Then the summer ended and it was time for school, for senior year, to start, and he found himself at a crossroads. Was it back to the old routine of schoolwork first and piano when there was time or should piano become a top priority? Giancarlo went with the latter. “My daily routine changed and my stress level heightened, but, oddly enough, I became a better player. I wanted to get it all done — schoolwork, piano practice, college applications, after-school job, as well as other things — so I just found a way to make it happen. But it was difficult, keeping up a five-hour-a-day practice schedule (I peaked at one seven-hour session of classical practice) while trying to keep all the other activities going at the same time.” Yet in praising Giancarlo’s accomplishments in music, we risk, perhaps, unfairly downplaying his other more academic accomplishments. As of the end of the third quarter, he managed to attain, despite his rigorous practice regimen, a perfect 4.0 average (with an A+ in Dr. Newcomb’s very demanding calculus class!). He was one of only five students accepted into the jazz and classical program in the music conservatory at Northwestern University, but, after much soul-searching, he turned that down in order to attend Stanford University. “Though I finally decided against matriculating at Northwestern, I know that I have to continue to feed this passion for music. I don’t know what I will do with the music I plan to learn in college, but I do know that I have to keep playing because I love it and just cannot give it up.” Since last fall, Giancarlo has competed in four major competitions. In the first of the four, the Texas Chamber Orchestra Young Artist Competition, Senior Division, he won first place. In the second, the Lennox Young Artists Competition, he received a semifinalist ranking. Then, in February he was invited (along with 19 other participants from all over the state of Texas) to compete in the 2002 Baylor University Solo Piano Competition, Senior Division and won first place. Most recently, in April he was one of ten finalists chosen from all over Texas to compete in the McKinney Symphony Orchestra’s 2002 Young Artist Competition for pianists. He won the grand prize and a $500 scholarship to boot. What keeps Giancarlo from burning out is not primarily his extraordinary success, though that adds a certain sweetness to the long hours, but his fundamental attitude toward what he does at the keyboard. “The reason I have been successful, I believe, is that I have approached the study of music not like someone whose approach to school is simply to get good grades, to get ‘results.’ My success at these recent competitions came about only after the desire was there to make good music. When the only objective is to make beautiful sounds, allowing nothing else to impede that, then there’s a likely chance that real music will come out.” Reflecting back on the time in eighth grade when his love of jazz first awakened, Giancarlo expresses much of what later came to be his broader love of and devotion to music in general. “In eighth grade I went to a jazz concert and was instantaneously mesmerized by the sound. The next week I asked my mom to enroll me with a jazz improvisation teacher. As I look back, the timing couldn’t have been better. I had the ‘best-fit’ elements: good ‘chops’ (or fast fingers); a great teacher, which I know is indispensable; a pure love of jazz; an intense desire to learn to play it well, and parents who were very open to letting me try something new and who didn’t mind listening through all my practice sessions.” But at its deepest level. Giancarlo’s success is part and parcel with the true success which we all emulate and attempt to teach our children regardless of their pursuits. “The most wonderful thing about this process, though, was that it started from the heart, rather than from my parents or a warped sense of obligation or feigned enthusiasm. And now, since I have been able to study music which I enjoy —it really is not at all work — I know that picking a concentration of study, even a career, will have to meet the same fundamental criterion of how intensely it moves me as a student. “If it isn’t ‘fun work,’ it’s not for me.” Published on the June 2002 edition of “the Continuum” monthly magazine for family, friends, and alumni of Cistercian Preparatory School - One Cistercian Road - Irving, TX 75039-4599
Quest Profile For Giancarlo  
Giancarlo's dream is to live around the world and learn to cook ethnic foods extremely well, speak Italian, French, Portuguese, Farsi, and Japanese, play music, and help people. A professional jazz pianist, he developed his love for music, challenges, and deep study through serious classical instruction which began when he was three years old. He began his studies in jazz during the summer before eighth grade because of his fascination with the possibilities of improvisation as well as with the ability of people to spontaneously compose. Jazz converted him to a lover because of its sound, and improvisation attracted him because he liked that numbers and letters are a basis for creation in jazz. He is working on feeling satisfied that he will never be able to achieve a state of musical perfection or even a final musical product. Giancarlo is entering his second year at Stanford this upcoming fall of 2003, and he wishes that as a Public Policy major and math minor he will find ways to utilize his love for math to see to it that others "do good and do well" for themselves. He has not fully uncovered what the concepts of helping people and personal happiness mean for him, but his definitions keep growing stronger. Giancarlo is a fun-loving guy who lives to see people's smiles.
The Gifts He Has Left Us  
Giancarlo may no longer be with us, but he has a clear presence in the hearts of all who knew him, and even some of us who didn't know him. From Giancarlo others have learned To love the creative self To let the music flow To do your best at whatever it is you do To study hard and learn your lessons well To be proud of who you are

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