It was all hands on deck this weekend at the Piano Scholarship Gala where four faculty members shared two pianos during their performance.
Faculty performances featured multiple pianos being played at the same time as well as multiple people playing the same piano.
“In a really exciting way, the faculty [was] presenting repertoire that [was] for more than two hands,” said coordinator of the Piano Division, Donna Lee. “There [was]a piece for two pianos and eight hands. All four of us [were] playing.”
Other performers included students, alumni and the new director of the Hugh. A Glauser School of Music, Kent McWilliams.
Tickets for the gala were $35, but Kent State students attended for free. All proceeds went towards scholarships for piano students. The event was held in Ludwig Recital Hall inside of the Center for the Performing Arts at 5 p.m.
After the event, there was be a free reception sponsored by Steinway Piano Gallery Cleveland in the Roe Green Lobby.
Also performing was Daniel Milan, a Kent State alumnus. Milan has performed in places such as Italy and Romania and won awards in piano performance competitions.
“He’s a really good example of what this program produces,” said Andrew Paa, marketing assistant for the School of Music.
12 student performers played solo pieces from Russian composer Tchaikovsky’s “The Seasons.” Each student performed a piece from the twelve-part sequence named after months of the year.
“It’s like a big celebration of our amazing students,” Lee said.
Some students performed multiple pieces. Alexandre Marr and Greta Pasztor, graduate students studying piano performance, performed a duet of composer William Bolcom’s “The Serpent’s Kiss” in addition to solos from the Tchaikovsky sequence.
“It really showcases the piano in a lot of different, fun ways,” said Marr, “with classical music, ragtime, and body percussion.”
The gala is the next event in the 2019-20 Kent Keyboard Series. The Kent Keyboard Series is one of Kent State’s “signature events” Paa said.
“For the community, I think it’s a really good opportunity to get to know these students and be able to support them in a very concrete way,” he said. “And for fellow students at the university, I think it’s an opportunity to come hear friends perform and to meet some new people.”
Contact Lindsey Sellman at [email protected]