After a lovely al fresco lunch with some dear colleagues, I joined a packed house at the Hal Leonard Showcase.
Composer/pianist Jeremy Siskind started off the session with an overview of Jazz Etude Inspirations, County Ragtime Festival, and Classical Pop.
Editor and recording artist, William Westney joined the session via video to share about the beautiful complimentary edition each attendee received of Grieg: Selected Lyric Pieces.
Longtime composer for Hal Leonard, Carol Klose, passed away several weeks ago. Shortly before her passing, she was asked what her favorite piece was. She said, “Candlelight Prelude.” In memory of her, Jennifer Linn played her piece while a brief slide show was shown:
Mona Rejino took over and gave an overview of her new Essential Elements Piano Theory series.The books are designed to incorporate practical, musical applications of each of the concepts as students are instructed to sight-read, transpose, and improvise at the piano. Each attendee received a complimentary copy of the Level Two theory book.
“Women Composers in History: 18 Intermediate to Late Intermediate Piano Pieces by 8 Composers” was presented by Gail Smith. The selections she played were lovely!
Next we watched an excerpt of Alexandre Dossin playing from and discussing the new Rachmaninoff: Preludes, Op. 3 and 23 by Schirmer Performance Editions. He has been working on the project for about a year and frequently receives questions about how to practice Rachnmaninoff. He said to practice until quantity becomes quality. He also talked about various other aspects of Rachmaninoff’s music.
Jeremy Siskind wrapped up the showcase with “The Magic of Standards,” his second published book. He considers these some of the greatest songs in the American repertoire. One of the favorite selections he played was an arrangement of Irving Berlin’s “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”