Happy World Piano Day!
On this day, the 88th day of the year (one day for each key on the piano – except the Imperial Bösendorfer, which has 97, and certain digital keyboards, which have fewer), we celebrate the instrument that has given us so much joy, whether as a solo instrument, or for us singers, as a collaborative partner.
And since this is a singer’s blog, I’d like to focus on the latter. Over the last two years, when we haven’t been able to perform in a live setting, the accompaniment app called Appcompanist has been a godsend. And it’s not going away, even though live performing is coming back. because it’s so handy. to use for practice So thank you to Darin Adams for developing this program, and thank you to his team of worldwide pianists for creating the thousands and thousands of tracks available to us as singers.
Thank you to the LIVE collaborative pianists/accompanists that play the auditions, play the recitals, and do the journeyman work that does not always get them the recognition or respect that they deserve. (I knew a choral director once who told the pianist, “Oh, just go back there and wiggle your fingers.”) Ben Moore wrote about this in the song, “Content to be behind me:”
People often remind me to mention the one who is slaving away at the keys.
But such decorous gestures are quite overdone,
Share the glory? Oh please!
I assure you that he’s
Content to be behind me, content there in the rear,
Content to feed my ev’ry need and never ever interfere.
For he has no ambition, he shed those long ago,
He’ll never claim applause or fame and that is why I love him so.
I have worked with many fine pianists over the years, and I’d like to name them here (in no particular order except how they pop into my head):
- Alan Nathan
- Robert Muckenfuss
- John Komasa
- Michelle Hayes Hynson
- Patricia Kasprzak Sweger
- Milton Peckarsky
- David Sytkowski
- Paula Foley Tillen
- Diane Kachelmeier
- Richard Carsey
- Michael Sheppard
- Aaron Thacker
- Ryan Cappleman
- Jamie Johns
- Michael Tan
- Will Zellhofer
- Amanda McFall Draheim
- Rhonda Kwiecien
- Jim Collins
- Anne Van Deusen
- James Norden
- Elna Hickson
- Bill O’Meally
Thank you for the service you have given to your singers and other musicians you’ve collaborated. (And if I’ve left anyone out, I’m sorry!)
For more on World Piano Day, check out their Facebook page
For a playlist of solo piano pieces especially curated for this day, check this out (unless you’re boycotting Spotify, a choice which I completely respect):