Written by Jack McCarthy
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 00:00
Some of the performers and pianos at a previous American Grands piano extravaganza in Elgin. American Grands returns Jan. 26 to Elgin Community College. (ECC photo)
Concert day to feature 12 pianos, 500 participants, three shows
For piano enthusiasts it doesn't get any better than this.
Twelve grand pianos, three separate concerts and nearly 500 pianists of all ages and skill levels will be the main ingredients at American Grands XVIII on Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Elgin Community College Arts Center.
The piano event of the year will be held at 1, 4 and 7 p.m. at the ECC Arts Center’s Blizzard Theatre located in Building H on the Spartan Drive Campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin.
“This year we once again have a diverse concert repertoire and we’re performing pieces that we’ve never performed before,” Music Director Larry Dieffenbach says of American Grands. “It’s exciting that after 18 years, we’re still finding new music to perform and that we’re welcoming new participants every year. American Grands is such a special event because it lets the players celebrate their love of the piano and collaborate with so many fellow musicians who share that love.”
This production is sponsored by Cordogan’s Pianoland, Geneva, the event’s sponsor since its inception. Cordogan’s has provided and maintained all of the grand pianos for this huge annual undertaking.
This will be Dieffenbach’s 17th concert. He is on the music faculty at ECC, teaches privately in Geneva, and is the organist/music director at the Little Home Church by the Wayside in Wayne.
He also is founder/director of the St. Charles International Piano Competition. Dieffenbach made his orchestral debut under the baton of New York conductor Broch Macelherin.
Colin Holman returns as conductor, a role he has held for 17 of the 18 American Grands concerts.
He maintains an active career as conductor and musicologist in the Chicago area as music director of the Fox Valley Concert Band, Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Brass Band and the St. Louis Brass Band.
Holman also teaches undergraduate and graduate music history at Northern Illinois University.
Jon Mortensen again serves as percussionist, percussion arranger and assistant conductor, having been with American Grands since its first year.
Mortensen, a music educator for the past 26 years, has a broad theatre background, and is principal timpanist for the Rockford Symphony Orchestra and the Woodstock Mozart Festival Orchestra since 1986.
Tickets to American Grands XVIII are $24 for adults and $15 for children age 12 and under.
Tickets for all performances in the ECC Arts Center are available online at http://tickets.elgin.edu or at the ECC box office located in the arts center.
Box office hours are noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and noon to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. To purchase tickets by phone, call 847-622-0300. All major credit cards are accepted.
Visit elgin.edu/arts for more information about the ECC Arts Center, including video clips of upcoming artists and events, the Standing Room Only blog, and links to the Arts Center’s Twitter and Facebook pages.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 15:42