Los Angeles, CA, December 1, 2010 — In their continuing mission to promote the hobby of piano playing, Roland Corporation U.S. held their first annual Piano Festival, which culminated in a final showcase of piano talent from across the country in the National Finals on November 13, 2010, at Roland U.S. Headquarters in Los Angeles, California.
Regional Roland Piano Festival events were held at select Roland piano dealers across the country in the spring and summer of 2010. Dealers hosted these local events in their community, giving hobbyist players and students the opportunity to share their musical talents. Competitors participated in one of four different divisions: Youth 1, Youth 2, Youth 3 and Adult Hobbyist. The top winners in each category advanced to the National Finals in Los Angeles.
Finalists performed on the Roland RM-700 Digital Piano in front of a live audience of family and friends. They were then critiqued by a panel of expert judges—concert pianist Yana Reznik, musical director, keyboardist and composer Paul Mirkovich, and GRAMMY® Award-winning jazz pianist David Benoit.
Winners included nine year-old Madeline Magana from Maple Valley, Washington, in the Youth 1 division; 11 year-old McKenzie Fysh from Renton, Washington, in the Youth 2 division; ten year-old Keenan Monks from Hazleton, Pennsylvania, in the Youth 3 division; and 19 year-old Nicole Ventresca from Bellingham, Washington, in the Adult Hobbyist Division. Each winner went home with a CD-2i SD/CD Recorder.
The afternoon included a special live performance from David Benoit, who performed “Downtime,” a new piece from his latest release, Earthglow, and “Linus and Lucy” by Vince Guaraldi, a favorite amongst the youth piano players in attendance.
Awards were presented by President and CEO of Roland Corporation U.S., Chris Bristol, who had glowing comments about the performers and explained the motivation behind the Roland Piano Festival. “Watching the folks perform, I thought to myself, ‘What a magical afternoon,’” he said. “It’s a wonderful thing to be involved in music, and festivals like these are a way we can share the joy of creating music with each other.”
The participants and the parents alike were thrilled with the event, and the inspiration it provided to the participants to keep playing piano. “Sydney had the time of her life and met so many great people; many of whom she plans on keeping in touch with,” said Teresa Johnson, mother of Sydney Johnson. “We had another finalist on our return flight and they have become fast friends. This experience will be something that she and I will treasure for years to come. This has inspired Sydney to play hard and to focus on what she may be able to accomplish in life through music.”
For more information on becoming a participant or hosting a regional event for the 2011 Piano Festival, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.