On Saturday, May 1, at 7:00 p.m., the Elgin Community College Arts Center presents the 2021 American Grands XXVI as a virtual concert. This annual event features pianists of all ages and skill levels playing together on stage in the ECC Blizzard Theatre. This year, the scaled-down performance showcases 12 local high school seniors and their accompanist performing on separate pianos.
"Historically, American Grands hosts nearly 450 pianists of all ages and skill levels performing in person at the ECC Arts Center," said Music Director Larry Dieffenbach. "The pandemic forced us to make a change and still create something special for these talented musicians."
The students chose their duet music and played one duet with their music teacher or another family member in a safe and healthy environment. Dieffenbach adds, "We created a before-and-after montage with photos of students from previous American Grands and this year's performance to celebrate this joyful day of music and give the seniors something to remember for the rest of their lives."
This season's musical repertoire features a wide range of works, including arrangements of "Primavera" and "Rondino," "Argentine Tango," "Morning has Broken," “Hungarian Dance No. 5,” and “Spanish Dance Op. 12 No. 5” (“Bolero”). The show closes with "Tango Andaluza" and "Premiere Arabesque."
This marks Dieffenbach's seventeenth year as the music director of the American Grands showcase. He is on the music faculty at ECC, teaches privately in Geneva, and is the organist/music director at the Little Home Church by the Wayside in Wayne. He also is the founder/director of the St. Charles International Piano Competition. Dieffenbach made his orchestral debut under the baton of New York conductor Broch Macelherin.
Virtual tickets to American Grands XXVI are free to stream from any device. However, donations are welcome to help support future American Grands. Reserve your tickets online at http://tickets.elgin.edu.