Live Webcast with Jim Brickman
Make Mother’s Day extra special this year with a free, live concert from Jim Brickman. Invite all the moms in your life and join us online for this free webcast featuring songs, stories, giveaways, and video dedications.
When you RSVP, you’ll be entered to win a brand-new Roland RP102 Digital Piano! Plus, you’ll receive a link where you can share a personal video message to your mom which may be selected to air during the webcast.
Click the button below to register, send your video, and let Jim make this a Mother’s Day to remember.
Registration closes May 10, 2018.
Jordan Kitt’s was proud to provide the Yamaha C7X grand piano for a performance by jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut at this year’s Folger Gala on Monday, April 16th.
Described in Time magazine as “the best jazz pianist of his generation”, Cyrus has more than a dozen albums in his discography, and his leadership and prowess as a soloist has also led him to be a first call for the piano chair in many big bands including the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, and Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra.
The Folger Shakespeare Library’s annual gala is the organization’s largest and most significant fundraiser of the year, providing support to the Folger and its impact driving discovery, transforming education, and creating experiences.
As one of Washington’s most elegant social evenings this special event is attended by the leaders of the social, business, government, and diplomatic communities.
The British Ambassador and Lady Darroch are the Honorary Gala Co-Chairs, and Folger Board member Vinton Cerf of Google and his wife Sigrid are the 2018 Folger Gala Co-Chairs.
In addition to Cyrus Chestnut, the eveing also featured entertainment by Sir Derek Jacobi and Richard Clifford, as well as singer and actress Erica Dorfler.
The 2018 Jordan Kitt’s Music Piano Festiva was a big hit, with tremendous participation by area teachers and students:
Here were the winners:
Div. 2B: Ages 7-9
Div. 3A: Ages 10-12
Div. 3B: Ages 10-12
Div. 4: Ages 13-15 (and Div. 5: Ages 16-18)
On Monday, March 12th the Piano Technician’s Guild held their annual meeting at the Jordan Kitt’s Music Showroom and Music Education Center in Rockville, Maryland.
The event featured Yamaha Concert and Artist Master Technician Ace Ugai and a fine Yamaha CFX Concert Grand. Ace called his class: “A Master’s Approach to Performance Preparation.”
Ace Ugai and action removed from a Yamaha CFX concert grand piano.
In his words, a master of the craft must include consideration of the room acoustics ,tuning and action regulation specifically tailored for those conditions. The class identified the sounds and effects to look for, and demonstrated how to listen, evaluate and manipulate all of those facets.
Mr. Ugai and PTG DC Chapter President Robin Olson
The Piano Technicians Guild, Inc. is the largest non-profit organization serving piano tuners, technicians, and craftsmen throughout the world. Formed in 1957 by the merger of the American Society of Piano Technicians and the National Association of Piano Tuners, the Guild was organized to promote the highest possible service and technical standards among piano tuners and technicians.
The Washington DC Chapter was the first chapter in the Piano Technicians Guild (PTG). We have approximately 70 members in our chapter and over half of our members are Registered Piano Technicians. A Registered Piano Technician (RPT) is a piano technician who has passed a series of rigorous tests given by the PTG.
Learn more about the PTG here…
On Friday, March 16th, Towson University is proud to present Keyboard Day from 8:30am – 5:00pm
for more information and to register, visit here!
What better way to celebrate the purchase of a new piano than with a piano cake? Although we can’t personally vouch for the taste until we’ve made one ourselves, here are the basic ingredients and instructions from Tastemade. See the instructional video on their website here.
For the chocolate cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups butter, softened at room temperature
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
For the chocolate chip meringue:
6 large egg whites
2 cups superfine sugar
1 cup mini chocolate chips
For the chocolate buttercream:
1 1/2 cups butter, softened at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
2/3 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
For the chocolate ganache:
2 cups dark chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons coconut oil
For the decoration:
16 white chocolate Kit Kats
10 milk chocolate Kit Kats
Make the chocolate cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a 13 by 9 inch pan with baking spray and parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa. Using a hand mixer, blend the butter, eggs and vanilla into the dry mix. Fold in the sour cream. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until fragrant and a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake. Set aside to cool.
Make the chocolate chip meringue: Turn the oven to 250 degrees, and line a quarter sheet pan with baking spray and parchment paper. In a large bowl, whip egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form, approximately 10 minutes. Gently fold in mini chocolate chips and pour into prepared pan. Smooth out to create an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes, and then turn the oven down to 200 degrees and bake until stiff, approximately 4 hours. Turn the oven off and allow the meringue to set and cool completely in the oven.
Make the chocolate buttercream: In a large bowl, whip softened butter and powdered sugar together with a hand mixer. Add in cocoa powder and milk and mix until smooth. Add in vanilla and salt and set aside.
Make the chocolate ganache: Set chocolate chips in a medium-sized bowl, and heat the cream to a near boil. Pour cream over chocolate and whisk to combine. Add coconut oil, and divide ganache into two bowls. Refrigerate one to set and leave the other at room temperature.
Assemble the cake: Cut baked chocolate cake in half. Place one of the cakes on a large platter. Cover with one cup of chocolate buttercream and top with the meringue layer. Top with another cup of buttercream and finish with the remaining cake layer. Cover the entire cake with the remaining buttercream and set in the refrigerator to chill for approximately 30 minutes. Remove from fridge and pour the room temperature ganache over the top of the cake. Carefully drip ganache down every side of the cake for a dramatic effect. Place the chilled ganache in a piping bag and create a border around the bottom of the cake. Place the white chocolate Kit Kats across the middle of the cake, keeping them together in fours. Break up the milk chocolate Kit Kats and place them on top of the white Kit Kats, mimicking piano keys. Serve immediately. Cake will keep up to 4 days covered.
A firefighter from Monroe, Washington helped calm residents after a stressful night of emergency calls – with a serenade on their vintage piano.
Greg and Meagan Bennett were home when one of their carbon monoxide alarms went off. They checked the batteries and the alarm stopped. But two hours later, the other alarm sounded, so the couple called for help.
An emergency crew arrived, but found conflicting readings from the alarms and decided to call for backup. Meagan says a second crew responded to their home, and all of the excitement proved too much for the couple’s dogs. She took them outside while 5 firefighters and EMTs kept working inside her home.
As the emergency call was finally wrapping up, firefighter Bryan Kerr inquired about the couple’s piano, which was a family heirloom from 1920. He asked if he could try playing it, then surprised everyone with a snippet from Coldplay’s “Clocks.” Greg recorded video so he could show Meagan when she returned with the dogs.
She tells KING 5: “It started out as a super stressful, annoying situation and this just really made our night. It was awesome!”
via the Hamilton County Times
Does Kyle Thomas know how beautifully he plays the piano?
During Westfield’s play rehearsals, I watched and listened as Thomas sat at the baby-grand piano in his borrowed black tuxedo with tails, loud crazy-patterned socks and long, thick beard that he’s he’s been growing for a year.
Watch out Chopin: a Polish university student has programmed a robot to play the piano. The musical robot, which pushes piano keys using pronged 3D printed fingers, was developed specifically to accompany its creator while he plays the violin.
The student behind the project, Wojciech Świtała, was inspired to program the 3D printed robot as part of his master’s thesis project at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow.
Through the project, Świtała found a creative (not to mention, entertaining) way of combining his studies in the faculty of electrical engineering, automatics, computer science and biomedical engineering with his passion for playing music.
While the piano-playing robot admittedly does not have the musical chops of a human pianist (or perhaps even a relative novice), the robot is capable of carrying a tune and provides a nice, simple piano accompaniment.
The robot itself is based on one of Mitsubishi’s robotic arms, which Świtała equipped with a 3D printed hand (more of a prong) and programmed to play certain melodies on the piano. That’s right, the robot doesn’t just play one series of keys, as it can actually be “taught” different sequences.
Świtała explains that users simply have to click virtual piano keys in a computer program and the sequence will be saved and sent to the 3D printed robot, which will then “learn” the melody and can play it back when placed in front of a keyboard.
Of course, because the robot isn’t equipped with a set of ten fingers—like most pianists are—it is quite limited in terms of its musical capabilities. What the two-pronged robotic arm can do is play two keys at once, and press them in good time. In the video demonstration, you can even see the 3D printed bot hit a cymbal!
Świtała admits that the robot is in its early stages and that there are still some significant kinks to work out in its operation. For one, the sound of the robot’s motor is not ideal for producing music (unless you’re specifically looking for a technological buzzing), and the robotic arm is still quite slow.
Read the full article here at 3ders.org
Or learn how to play a lot better than the robot by going here…
A man whose story and video went viral after he was captured playing a piano in his flooded Texas home has a new piano.
Aric Harding of Friendswood, Texas, returned to the waist-deep floodwaters in his family’s home after Hurricane Harvey in August to get some of his children’s belongings. His home was one of 350,000 destroyed by the rising waters.
He said he stopped at the piano, which belonged to one of his sons, and had a friend record him as he played it.
“For us, it’s a piece of music being this universal language for everyone. It’s always been a big part of my life. My family’s always been very musical,” he told ABC Houston station KTRK-TV. “From the moment we get up in the morning to the moment we go to sleep, we’ve got music going on in our house.”
At that moment, Harding said, he hoped the video would lift his children’s spirits and show his son his beloved instrument was still working.
“It was kind of the first time for me that I had sat down and been still, you know since the storm. And so it was, it was an unintentional special moment,” Harding said.
He then posted the video online with a Bible verse about having hope. The video circulated on social media, eventually reaching Grammy-nominated singer Vanessa Carlton, who then asked how she could get the family a new piano.
Harding said the family had to get rid of the old piano — with its rusty strings and broken bass board — after it was destroyed in the floodwaters.
“She [Carlton] literally just calls me one morning like, ‘Hey, this is Vanessa,'” Harding told KTRK. “To have that kind of generosity, you know, to come about, that’s just one piece of the generosity that has happened not only for us but for other people in this area.”
Harding, a father of seven, received the new piano Saturday. Having a piano back in the house was a big deal, especially for his son Rylor, who is back practicing, Harding said.
“Just being blessed to even have the chance to own one of these is amazing,” Rylor said.
Others have also donated pianos to the family, so Harding and his father plan to get them to residents who lost theirs in the area, as well as piano students.
“Hopefully, we can keep passing this forward a little bit,” he said.