Students to Tackle Monster Piano

The Maine Music Teachers Association and the University of Maine School of Performing Arts announce the second biennial Monster Piano Festival on Saturday, March 8, at Minsky Recital Hall on the Orono campus.

What is a monster piano? It’s 113 students in grades 4 through 12 and several adults simultaneously playing 11 pianos. That’s 226 hands, or 1,130 fingers tickling 968 keys.

After a day of rehearsals with UMaine music instructor and conductor Ginger Yang Hwalek, the 113 people from 18 piano studios in Maine will perform in concert at 5 p.m. Donations will be accepted at the door.

Two or three pianists will be seated at each of the 11 pianos on stage during the concert, which will include a mix of classical and jazz and pieces written by composers who specialize in creating music for emerging pianists. Music teachers will also play a selection.