Monster Concert: Piano Bash Brings More Than 30 Musicians Together

Monday, January 26 2009


Jan. 26, 2009 Photo is available at www.today.uidaho.edu/PhotoList.aspx. Written by Tania Thompson MOSCOW, Idaho – The concept started in the 1800s with American composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s “Monster Concerts” – huge musical affairs, with more than 1,000 musicians gathered for a riotous musical extravaganza. Several years ago, Jay and Sandy Mauchley, professors of piano at the University of Idaho, created a Moscow version of those large musical gatherings. “We use several pianos and pianists, and created a program designed to entertain audiences of all ages,” said Jay Mauchley. “By having the performers wear colorful costumes, adding actors, dancers and musicians to play out the comic parts, and providing a narrator to add a bit of knowledge and humor, we invented our ‘Piano Bash,’” added Sandy Mauchley. The next Piano Bash, titled “Around the World in 80 Minutes,” welcomes 30 pianists – that’s 300 fingers of faculty, students and community piano teachers – for a musical extravaganza that will take audience members around the world in just over an hour on Friday, Feb. 6, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 7, at 4:30 p.m. in the Lionel Hampton School of Music Recital Hall. The interactive concert, hosted and narrated by Chris Thompson, assistant professor of voice, invites audience members to:
  • March with the soldiers as they perform Tchaikovsky’s “March” from “The Nutcracker Suite”;
  • Watch the turtles perform from Camille Saint-Saens’ “The Carnival of the Animals,” followed by the cancan dancers;
  • Enjoy the “Rag” from Dave Brubeck’s “Points on Jazz,” with dancer Melissa Woelfel;
  • Hear Gioacchino Rossini’s “Overture” to “The Barber of Seville,” with a nod to the Bugs Bunny cartoon, “The Rabbit of Seville”;
  • Laugh at the chorus while the pianists play “Who Let the Cows Out,” a bully rag;
  • Remember the days of The Lone Ranger as the pianists perform Rossini’s ”William Tell Overture”;
  • Ooh and aah during the technical tour de force when the pianists gather at six grand pianos, joined by woodwinds and brass instruments, for John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever” march.
  • The Piano Bash takes place in the School of Music Recital Hall, 1010 Blake Ave. in Moscow. Tickets are $3 for students and seniors, $5 for adults, and $12 for families. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the School of Music office, or at the door. Proceeds from the concerts go to the School of Music Scholarship Fund. For more information, call (208) 885-6231. # # # About the University of Idaho Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 150 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu. Media Contact: Robin Ohlgren, Lionel Hampton School of Music,(208) 301-1011,About the University of Idaho
    The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. For information, visit
    www.uidaho.edu.