The Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance will sponsor the twelfth biennial Piano Monster Concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 6. The performance will be held in the Silver Cultural Arts Center on Main Street.
The multi–piano program is the only event of its kind held in the region. Approximately 150 pianists from across New England will participate in a daylong rehearsal and evening concert of multi-hand works for piano, with two or three players per piano. Several works for digital keyboard ensemble will also be performed.
Mark Manduca of Portland, Maine, will be the conductor for this event. A trombonist, he serves on the faculty of the University of Southern Maine and is a member of the Portland Symphony, Portland Opera Repertoire Theatre, and Maine Bones. He is currently music director at Old Orchard Beach High School where he teaches instrumental music, music history, and class piano. He is the co-proprietor of Manduca Music Studios and co-owner and senior editor of Manduca Music Publications. In addition, he is a frequent adjudicator and conductor of festivals. This is Manduca’s second time conducting the Piano Monster Concert.
The program will include Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Valse Noble and Gavotta by Cornelius Gurlitt, Triumphal March by Edvard Grieg, Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig von Beethoven, and John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever. The largest ensemble (42 musicians) will perform Bob’s Blues by Robert Vandall.
The founder and director of the PSU Piano Monster Concerts is Carleen Graff, professor of music at Plymouth State. Graff teaches piano performance, class piano, and piano pedagogy, and oversees the program for young music students from the local community at the university. She previously served as chair of national competitions for the Music Teacher’s National Association (MTNA) and president of the Eastern Division, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors. Graff is a frequent adjudicator for competitions and evaluations in the United States and Canada.
Tickets are $6 general admission. For information, contact the Box Office at (603) 535-ARTS.