Piano pieces mimicking the sounds of a harp, an organ and a train will be featured at the 20th annual Fall Piano charity concert.
This year’s concert is going to mix modern and classical and pit absolute against program music.
“The first half there is a lot of program music, which is where the composer says, ‘This is specifically what I am thinking and what I encourage you to think,’” explained teacher and organizer Dan Wardrope.
“Where the second half is more about, ‘That’s up to you to figure out the story,’” he said.
The first half of the concert will be all modern composers, including a jazz piece called The Land of the Misty Giants, by Canadian jazz great Oscar Peterson, and an original composition by Andrew Croswell.
Wardrope’s daughter, Adriana, 15, will be performing the Peterson piece.
Land of the Misty Giants is a collection of eight solo piano pieces called the Canadiana Suite. The story is about a conceptual train that travels across Canada starting in the Maritimes and ending in British Columbia. Wardrope will be playing the final piece of the suite.
“The Misty Giants are the forests and the trees and I think the piece really represents the beauty of our province in a really cool way,” said Wardrope.
“I like how it has so much imagery and how it just represents the beauty of Canada’s landscape, it’s magnificence,” she explained.
The second half of the concert will feature all classical composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach, Frédéric Chopin and Ludwig van Beethoven.
Faith Tan, 14, will be performing the prelude in C-major Opus 12, No. 7, by Sergei Prokofiev.
“I really, really liked the piece the first time I heard it. It just sounded so beautiful. It opens with this really lovely roll, this beautiful harp sound,” said Tan.
Nicole Lassetter, 15, will be playing Beethoven’s piano sonata in A-Flat Major Opus 26, No. 12. It is nicknamed Funeral March after the third movement.
There are four movements to this piece and Lassetter, who is the only one of the three girls that has previously performed this piece in concert, is playing the second, third and fourth movements.
Lassetter will be playing for 13 minutes equal to 19 memorized pages of music.
“This piece is very structured. Every movement has its own mood and meaning. Everything is thought out perfectly for this piece,” said Lassetter.
The second movement is a scherzo, meaning playful.
“It is light, energetic, it’s light-hearted. It’s very nimble in the fingers there’s a lot of quick little notes and rapid runs,” she explained.
The third movement is very deep and must connect with the audience.
“This is a dark and brooding movement in general,” she said.
“It has to frame [the audience’s] experiences, their thoughts, their emotions. What they’ve been through in life because many people have experienced death,” said Lassetter, adding that the fourth movement is the finale, which is propulsive, quick and nimble on the fingers.
There will be nine performers at this year’s concert, including Lassetter, Tan, Adriana Wardrope, Andrew Croswell, Emily Zhang, Taylor Ko, Ainsley Marsh, Edwin Ma, and Tony Yang.
They each picked the pieces that they wanted to play based on the program levels that they are working on for the Royal Conservatory of Music.
This year the students will be performing for the Hope International Development Agency. The agency works to improve the supply of basic human necessities for the neediest of the developing world through self-help activities and strives to challenge, educate and involve North Americans regarding development issues.
“They give them tools to work with and they show them what to do and teach them,” said Tan.
“It helps them to build a life for themselves, as well, so they can work. It helps them find jobs, provide for themselves,” Tan said of the charity.
The students pick the charity they want to raise money for from a list of three chosen after some careful research. Once a charity is picked, the annual concert will raise money for it for several years.
The event has raised over $25,000 for various charities since inception.
The 20th Fall Piano Concert takes place at 7 p.m. on Nov. 6 at Swan-e-Set Bay Resort and Country Club, 16651 Rannie Road in Pitt Meadows. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 each. Tickets must be pre-ordered in advance through Dan Wardrope as the event has sold out every year.
To order tickets, call 604 818 8853 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.