In February, Ray Grimm, owner of the Madisonville Conservatory of Music, will take 12 of his piano students to the Kentucky Music Teachers Association All-State Piano Ensemble.
Grimm said about 60 piano students from across the state will attend the University of Kentucky set on February 18, 19, and 20.
“This is one of the few times that pianists can perform in a band,” he said.
The All-State Piano Ensemble is intended for independent instrument teachers and University of Kentucky professors. Only students of fifth grade and above can participate in the ensemble. Grimm said he had students from every grade participating this year.
Students will be divided into five groups according to their level of play and will receive three pieces of music to learn. He said there will be around 15 students in each group who will learn classical, jazz, contemporary or original works.
“They take Friday and Saturday as practice time in each group,” Grimm said. “Then on Sunday, each group will perform. “
Students will work on digital pianos, so the setting will be defined for an orchestra, a jazz band or a real piano. He said that one student can have the flute part, another will have the percussion, someone else will have the piano and another will have the trumpet part.
He said there are no overall winners, it’s just a chance for the students to get some experience playing with an ensemble.
“They are learning how to perform in front of audiences, and it’s a great inspiration for them to continue in music,” said Grimm. “They have a good learning experience because we have to have a conductor. “
Students also have the opportunity to interact and cultivate friendships with other pianists.