The Plymouth State College Department of Music and Theatre will sponsor the eleventh biennial Piano Monster Concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2. The performance will be held on the main stage in the Silver Cultural Arts Center on Main Street.
The multi-piano program is the only event of its kind held in this region. Approximately 150 pianists will participate in a day-long rehearsal and evening concert of multi-hand works for piano (two and three players per piano). Several works for digital keyboard ensembles will also be on the program.
The conductor for this event will be Joyce Grill, faculty emerita of the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. Grill has extensive teaching experience and is a well-known composer of pieces that introduces students to the styles of various musical eras. An active member of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), she founded the La Crosse area Music Teachers Association and served as the first president. The program will feature Grill’s “Duets from Many Lands” and the premiere of “The Maple Syrup Rag,” written especially for the 2002 PSC Monster Concert.
Other works on the program include a Gershwin medley, “God Bless America,” “I Love a Piano,” Beethoven’s “Egmont Overture,” Bizet’s “Carmen Overture,” and works by Mozart, Gottschalk and Tchaikovsky. The program concludes with what has become a Monster tradition, “The Stars and Stripes.”
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.”
The founder and director of the PSC Piano Monster Concerts and the summer Junior and Senior Piano Ensemble Camps is Carleen Graff, professor of music at Plymouth State. Graff teaches applied piano, class piano and piano pedagogy, and oversees the program for young music students from the local community at the college. She is past national competitions chair for the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), and president of the Eastern Division. Graff is a frequent adjudicator for competitions and evaluations in the United States and Canada.
Tickets are $6, general admission, at the PSC Box Office, (603) 535-ARTS. If special accommodations are needed, please call in advance.