Have you seen our summer camp listing for Piano Jam? In case you are curious, which I hope you are, I’ll give you some history behind “the jam”.
My first experience with a multiple piano event was in 1976, when, to celebrate the country’s bicentennial, the National Guild of Piano Teachers organized a massive piano performance. I was selected to participate, and it was one of the highlights of my life. Eight pianos, sixteen students, and thirty-two hands. It was thrilling to say the least! These concerts continued to be popular through the seventies and eighties, and were called Monster Concerts.
If you look back in piano concert history you’ll see that in in 1953 there was a monster piano concert at Carnegie Hall, when Steinway and Sons celebrated its 100th anniversary. And one can go way back to the Moszkowski benefits in the 1920’s and the Gottschalk piano festivals in the 1860’s!
Concerts of this type have been talking place as long as there have been pianos! In the 1990s, electric pianos were being used to create varying sounds, and tracks, to enhance the performance. When I taught at SMU in Dallas, we held a Piano Jam showcasing Baldwin keyboards (and all the bells and whistles) within a piano teacher’s conference.
This summer at CYM, Ms. Simmi, Ms. Grace, and I will be working as a team to pull these worlds together. Because we will be online, everyone will be on their own pianos, so our Piano Jam will in that way be more like the concerts of old- acoustic (perhaps some keyboards here and there for color)! We have some excellent ensemble music for multiple pianists to play – we are looking for some late intermediate to advanced students to jump in… and jam!