Monster Piano Event May 6 at Plymouth State

May 1st, 2010 by Adam


Plymouth, N.H.—The Piano Monster Concert returns to Plymouth State University May 6 for it’s 15th and final biennial performance at the University. The 7:30 p.m. concert will be held in the Hanaway Theatre at the Silver Center for the Arts.

The multi-piano program is the only event of its kind in this region. More than 100 high school and adult pianists and their teachers will participate in a daylong rehearsal and evening concert of multi-hand works for piano (2-3 players at each piano). Several works for digital keyboard ensemble will also be on the program.

Professor of Piano Carleen Graff, founder and director of the PSU Piano Monster Concerts at PSU says pianists don’t traditionally get the chance to work with a conductor in an ensemble experience.

The concept of Monster Concerts was popularized in the 19th century. Louis Moreau Gottschalk, an American composer born in 1829 is generally considered to be the creator of these “piano orchestras,” according to Graff. She brought the concept to Plymouth State in 1982. “This is a good way to share and showcase the resources of our University with musicians from throughout New Hampshire,” Graff says.

Carleen Graff is professor of music at Plymouth State University where she teaches piano performance, class piano and piano pedagogy.

A frequent adjudicator for competitions and evaluations throughout the U.S. and Canada, she has performed solo and chamber recitals in New England, the Mid-West and Germany. Her students have received numerous awards for their performances and studies. Graff also teaches pre-college piano students and oversees the community young piano students at PSU.

Ginger Yang Hwalek returns as conductor. At the University of Maine, Hwalek teaches class piano, keyboard musicianship, co-directs the chamber music program and is the director of Maine Summer Youth Music. Her piano studio is in Bangor, Me. Hwalek has taught at Illinois State University and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Michigan. She has conducted Monster Concerts at Plymouth State University and in Essex Junction, Vermont. Hwalek has recorded three CDs of contemporary American art songs under the Capstone Records label.

The program will include such works as “The Music of the Night” by Andrew Lloyd Webber, “God Bless America,” “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin and the “William Tell Overture,” which will be performed by teachers.

The Digital Keyboard Orchestra will perform such works as an arrangement by Professor Graff entitled “Beethoven’s Fifth,” “Dona Nobis Pacem,” and a “Stephen Foster Overture.”

Tickets for the 2010 Monster Concert are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and youth at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-ARTS (2787) or (800) 779-3869.

For general information about events at PSU, log on to ThisWeek@PSU. http://thisweek.blogs.plymouth.edu.

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