A unique concert will be held at the Prince Charles Theatre on May 24 when piano students ranging in age from 10-22 show their skill at playing two-piano pieces, both four- and eight-handed.
“I love piano ensembles,” said Audrey Johnson, who has taught in Creston for seven years. “Two-piano is a big favourite of mine. There are lots of two-piano works out there that are really fun to play.”
Many teachers, she said, use multi-player pieces as a teaching tool — she has two grand pianos in her studio — but the skills learned make for a memorable concert, too.
“It sounds really full and orchestrated,” she said.
The concert is more than just an opportunity for the students to perform; it will also help pay for a new band room piano at Prince Charles Secondary School. A 50/50 draw will be held, with just 88 tickets — the number of keys on a piano — to be sold.
The concert, which will be MCed by Brooke Douma, will have 14 performers: Emma Penner, Alec Hammond, Noah Koehoorn, Erin Collison, Bronwyn McKenna, Christina Walker, Ben Collison, Adriana Ingram, Lexi Ducharme, Dempsey McKenna, Teandra Ostendorf, Danielle Sonntag, Stephanie Tilling and Leah Gailius.
They will play a wide range of music, from Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik and Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba to modern pieces, such as the theme from Romeo and Juliet and Beauty and the Beast. Another is Perpetual Commotion, which Johnson describes as “a rhythmic, driving study for eight hands.” Two pieces by American composer Eugénie Ricau Rocherolle will be featured: Jambalaya, in memory of Hurricane Katrina, and The Way We Danced, a medley of dance music from 1949-1999.
Johnson is looking forward to hearing her students take on the selections, and is sure the audience will enjoy the experience.
“It adds that level of challenge, but at the same time it adds a huge deal of fun,” she said. “The difficulty and challenge are worth it because the outcome is so pleasant.”
Tickets to the 7 p.m. concert are $10 for adults and $5 for students, available at Black Bear Books and at the door.