Music 1

The students attending the Kentucky Music Teachers Association All-State Piano Ensemble are, front row, from left, Elizabeth Ashby, Ella Logsdon, Allie Garrigan and Alex Ray. Students in the back row, from left, are Madeline Lowbridge, Lily Solise, Chase Brummer and Sam Dodds. Not pictured are Rachel Whitmer, Holt Redpath, Camden Clark and Lilly Humphrey.

In February, Ray Grimm, owner of the Conservatory of Music in Madisonville, will take 12 of his piano students to the Kentucky Music Teachers Association All-State Piano Ensemble.

Grimm said around 60 piano students from across the state will be participating in the ensemble at the University of Kentucky on February 18, 19, and 20.

“It is one of the few times pianists get to play in a group,” he said.

The All-State Piano Ensemble is for the independent instrument teachers and university professors from around Kentucky. Only students in fifth grade and up can participate in the ensemble. Grimm said he has students in every grade participating this year.

The students will be separated into five groups depending on what playing level they are at and are given three pieces of music to learn. He said there will be about 15 students in each group learning either classical, jazz, contemporary or original works.

“They take Friday and Saturday as their practice time in each group,” said Grimm. “Then Sunday, each group will perform.”

The students will be working on digital pianos, so the setting will be set for an orchestra, a jazz band, or an actual piano. He said one student may have the flute part, another will have the percussion, someone else will have the piano and another will have the trumpet part.

He said there are no winners in the ensemble, it is just a chance for students to gain some experience playing with an ensemble.

“They get to learn how to perform in front of the public, and it is a great inspiration for them to continue in music,” said Grimm. “They get a good educational learning experience because we have to have a conductor.”

The students also have an opportunity to interact and cultivate friendships with other pianists.

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