Dueling Pianos is August 19

Dueling Pianos is August 19Pat Davis (shown) is one of the dueling pianists. She knows all about improvisation and having fun at a piano. Of that there is no doubt. Provided photo.

On Sunday, Aug. 19 at 2:30 p.m., Pat Davis, Dave Knauss and Mike Watkins, talented musicians, will challenge each other as they perform on pianos in the Coolidge Theatre for Hamilton-Gibson Productions Fifth Annual Dueling Pianos. The theatre is located at the Deane Center at 104 Main St. in Wellsboro.

Dueling Pianos is an informal, fun event; not black tie and tails.

The pianists do not rehearse in advance. Nothing is pre-planned. One pianist will pick a tune and begin playing or make a suggestion and the others will join in. The audience will get to hear all styles of music and on-the-spot improvisations and get to pick some of the songs.

“I am shocked that people fill the hall to see musicians who meet once a year, never practice with each other and who have very little idea of what they will be playing next. Personally, I love the challenge that it brings to come up with something on the spot, given only the title of the piece and what key it will be in,” said Davis. 

“It takes a certain type of player to do this; one who knows the song and can easily shift keys or, if he doesn’t know the music can ‘hear’ in his mind where the chords are going and play along,” she said.

“Each of us has a microphone and enjoy bantering with each other and the audience. Adding to the fun now and then is when a couple will get out of their seats and dance as we tickle the ivories.”

“I always look forward to David Driskell playing with the three of us, too,” Davis added. “He is a tremendous and versatile musician, who plays several instruments extremely well.”  Among them are the clarinet and banjo. 

Reservations are recommended for this popular, fun event. Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for youth, 18 and under. For more information or to make reservations, call Hamilton-Gibson at (570) 724-2079, email hamgib@gmail.com or visit www.hamiltongibson.org.

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