Category Archives: Special Events

Barry Manilow Donates NEW Yamaha Piano to PRP High School

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Gist Piano Center delivers the new Yamaha P22 Piano to PRP High School.

Students at Pleasure Ridge Park High School will have the opportunity to learn, practice and perform on a new Yamaha piano this school year, thanks to the Manilow Music Project and the help of local piano dealer Gist Piano Center. Youngsters at the high school and throughout the Jefferson County Public School District will also benefit from newly donated used music instruments, thanks to the unique initiative launched throughout the nation by pop superstar Barry Manilow.

The new upright piano, a Yamaha P22 model, was recently delivered to PRP High School by Gist Piano Center after being donated by Manilow. Manilow donated the piano to launch a music instrument drive to coincide with his ONE LAST TIME! tour stop earlier this year at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville. After delivery, the staff of Gist Piano Center donated their time and expertise to install and tune the piano.

Barry Manilow is one of 3600 Yamaha Artists.

Barry Manilow is one of 3600 Yamaha Artists.

Over the past year, concertgoers who donated a new or gently used instrument to the local school district received two free tickets to Manilow’s ONE LAST TIME! concert. The instrument drive was sponsored by Manilow’s foundation, The Manilow Music Project. Manilow started The Manilow Music Project to provide musical instruments to high school and middle school students throughout the U.S. and Canada.

“I know firsthand how invaluable music education is,” said Manilow, whose unparalleled career encompasses virtually every area of music, including performing, composing, arranging and producing, with worldwide record sales exceeding 80 million.  “It is a privilege for me to help bring the gift of music to these kids.”

James Harding, President of Gist Music Center, which has locations in Louisville and Lexington, said he jumped at the chance to play a part in the donation from the Manilow Music Project.
“For the past 44 years, Gist Piano Center has worked closely with Jefferson County public schools and our industry partners to give music a future in Louisville,” Harding said. “This new partnership with the Manilow Music Project and Yamaha will help bring music to the lives of countless JCPS students and their families. We couldn’t be more proud to join with these industry icons and help to promote the magic of making music in Louisville.”

Phillip Jennings, Music Teacher at PRP, leads his group piano class.

Phillip Jennings, Music Teacher at PRP, leads his group piano class on the new Yamaha P22 donated by Manilow.

Gist Piano Center’s focus on music education has played an integral role in helping it grow from a small piano repair shop that opened in 1971 into the Midwest’s leading family-owned, full-service piano house. Today, Gist’s “Partners in Education” program, the largest piano network of its kind in the United States, features 115 teachers and more than 5,000 students.
The involvement in the Manilow Music Project is Gist Piano Center’s most recent effort to support music education in Jefferson County Public Schools, but part of a larger, ongoing commitment to the district. The Jefferson County school district has repeatedly chosen Gist Piano Center as their trusted piano source. In addition to selling Pleasure Ridge Park High School a number of pianos and digital pianos over the years, Harding has conducted a series of training sessions and master classes for JCPS educators, and has also sat on the JCPS Community Advisory Board for the JCPS Music Magnate Program, which frequently met at the high school.

“Music education is at the very core of our mission at Gist Piano Center, as it has been over the past four decades,” Harding said. “We strongly believe in the power of music in education, which is why we look for wonderful opportunities like this that allow even more students to learn, explore and benefit from music in their schools, and hopefully throughout their lives.”
More information on the Manilow Music Project can be found at www.manilowmusicproject.org.

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Traditions with a Twist

Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach was more famous as an organist during his life than he was as a composer.  He was not recognized as “One of the Greats” until after his death.

Did you know that Bach never actually wrote music for the piano?  Did you know that Mozart’s piano sounded VERY different from the pianos of today?  Did you know that today’s pianos are tuned to a totally different frequency than the ones Beethoven played?

Over the centuries, pianos have evolved as much as the music that we play on them.  …but have you ever wondered what “The Great Composers” used to hear when THEY played?

If so, you won’t want to miss Gist Piano Center’s latest Partners In Education Event:  Traditions With a Twist.

c-230_theater_galJoin us at 6:30pm on Friday, June 19 (in Louisville) or at 2:30pm on Saturday, June 20 (in Lexington).  We’re turning back the clock to enjoy some of the great classics AS THEY WERE INTENDED.  In partnership with Roland Corporation, US, our PIE Students will be using a unique instrument (the Roland C-230 Classic Keyboard) to recreate the organ sounds of Bach’s day, the harpsichord tones that Mozart listened to and the early pianofortes that characterized the first days of piano music.  You’ll hear just how different classical music was when it was the popular music of its day – and you’ll see why the people of that era loved it so!

Experience classical music the way it was meant to be and in a way ONLY Gist Piano Center can bring to you with “Traditions With a Twist.”  Admission is free and open to the public.

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It’s been a cold winter, but that has not stopped people from wanting Frozen!

Released in theaters November, Frozen is just now making its ways to our homes in film as well as music. Frozen tells the story of Anna, Kristoff, and a crazy snowman named Olaf who are on quest to find Elsa, Anna’s sister. “Let it Go” and “Who Wants to Build a Snowman” are two of the favorite pieces from the film. Children of ALL ages have been flocking to our stores to get their own copy of Frozen so that they can learn and perform their favorite songs from the film.

Frozen from Hal Leonard Publishing

Frozen from Hal Leonard Publishing

A few different versions of Frozen are currently available from Hal Leonard Publishing – with more to come!

Frozen (Piano/Vocal/Guitar) – 00124307 – $16.99
Frozen has been called one of Disney’s greatest musicals of all time – high praise indeed] This souvenir songbook features 11 songs as penned by up-and-coming songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez plus color artwork from Disney’s newest release. Songs include: For the First Time in Forever * Frozen Heart * In Summer * Let It Go * Love Is an Open Door * Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People * and more.

Frozen (Easy Piano) – 00125506 – $14.99
11 easy piano arrangements from the smash Disney animated feature featuring music from up-and-coming songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. Songs: Do You Want to Build a Snowman? * Fixer Upper * For the First Time in Forever * For the First Time in Forever (Reprise) * Frozen Heart * Heimr Arnadalr * In Summer * Let It Go * Love Is an Open Door * Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People * Vuelie.

Gist Piano Academy student, Lydia Belcher, performs "Let it Go" with teacher Nathan Stites at Gist's Hollywood Nights!

Gist Piano Academy student, Lydia Belcher, performs “Let it Go” with teacher Nathan Stites at Gist’s Hollywood Nights!

Frozen (Big Note) – 00126105 – $12.99
Frozen (E-Z Play) – 00126895 – $9.99
Frozen, Tangled, and Enchanted – 0012896 – COMING SOON
Frozen, Vol. 128 (with Online Audio) – 00126480 – $14.99

Order your personal copy today.  CLICK HERE and enter promo code FROZENPIANO to receive 10% off your order!

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Gist Piano Center to Host Dr. Joseph Akins and Philip Wesley for PIE Appreciation Days

Dr. Joseph Akins

Based in Nashville, pianist-composer, Dr. Joseph Akins, blends his Southern roots with a variety of musical styles.

In appreciation for members of our renowned Partners In Education (PIE) program, Gist Piano Center will host a pair of master classes and concerts with noted Nashville musicians Dr. Joseph Akins and Philip Wesley. The events will take place at Gist Piano Center in Louisville on Friday, September 6th and at Gist Piano Center Lexington on Friday, September 7th.

At 5pm on each day, Akins and Wesley, will present a workshop on practice, performance, and creativity at the piano. At 7pm on each day, the duo will perform a lively piano concert. General admission for each event is $10, but PIE Members will receive FREE admission to all events. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling 1-800-838-3006. Additional tickets may be available at the door if the shows do not sell out in advance. Continue reading

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Summer Piano Camps at Gist Piano Academy!

During the past year, we opened the Gist Piano Academy (GPA) in Lexington and  we have had the pleasure of seeing many students come in every day for piano lessons. It’s been great to see so many kids and adults learning about piano and music!

While summer is the time to start to kick back and relax, it’s also the time to experience and learn all sorts of new things that you maybe don’t have the opportunity to do during the school year!

At GPA, we will be offering four different classes for both beginning and experienced piano students at the beginning of this summer. Taught by GPA instructor, Dr. Victoria Tsangari, students will have the opportunity to learn everything from playing their first notes on the piano to composing and premiering their first composition.

Before joining the faculty at Gist Piano Academy, Dr. Tsangari taught at the University of Iowa.

Dr. Tsangari teaches this student to play his first song on the piano!

Dr. Tsangari teaches this student to play his first song on the piano!

and served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Piano and Theory at Kentucky State University, where she taught studio and group piano, music theory and aural skills. In addition, she has 14 years of experience teaching private piano lessons to children and adults in the US and in Europe. Dr. Tsangari’s goals are to help students develop their technique and musicianship to their full potential, to help them grow as independent musicians and to fuel their love for music so they continue to play and to support music throughout their lives.

Piano Camp is for students who have studied piano for at least one year with an instructor. Piano Camp will strengthen students’ musical skills and renew their excitement for music making through fun activities and games. Activities will include duet and ensemble performance using a Roland keyboard lab, music theory, improvisation, ear training, sight-reading, and music history. The class will culminate in a recital at Gist Piano Center.

Piano Camp for Beginners is for anyone interested in learning the piano. Now’s your chance! This two-week class provides students who have not studied music previously with an introduction to making music at the piano. Students get their first taste of solo and ensemble playing using our Roland keyboard lab, and learn about music notation, music theory, ear training, and improvisation through fun activities and games. At the end of the beginning piano camp, students will make their piano debut during a performance at Gist!

Composition and Improvisation for Piano is another opportunity for those who have already studied piano for a year to enhance their musical skills by composing and learning to improvise! The first week in this two-week course will unlock students’ creativity with improvisation games, the introduction of various pedagogical tools, and guided composition sketches. The second week will be devoted to developing one or more compositions from start to finish, from inspiration to publication and premiere!

Sight Reading for piano students who want to improve their sight-reading ability and have fun doing it! Sight-reading is one of the most important skills for developing musicians to acquire. Not only it can help them learn their music faster, it can eventually lead to musical independence and improved overall musicianship.

Sound like fun to you? Download the  Summer Piano Camps information form here.  Contact Gist at (859) 854-2492 or email me at hhamilton@gistpianocenter.com for more details. Hurry! Space is limited and the deadline to register is May 18th!

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