Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Oxford's Musical Memorial Day Weekend Starts Thursday

Oxford music lovers, listen up.  This weekend brings to town the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest.
What kind of music will you hear when the event begins on Thursday, May 25? Competition organizer and Ole Miss music professor Ian Hominick says it’s quite a list.
“Probably the most interesting thing is the diversity of musical styles represented – ragtime, jazz, blues, honky tonk, boogie and novelty songs that all coexisted and influenced each other’s development into distinct individual styles,” Hominick said.
For a small town, Oxford is known to play big when it comes to the music scene, but it’s not often that the musical options work well for families.  Hominick says that’s one of the things that makes this competition different.
“Performers this year are coming from all across the U.S. and Great Britain, ages 8 to 80. There is a wide range of ability and showmanship but it’s lots of fun for the whole family.”
The competition started in Illinois in 1975 but moved to Oxford two years ago. It is is the only comprehensive ragtime contest in the country, so it’s also a boost for city tourism, bringing in plenty of first-time visitors.
The contest includes events every day from May 25-28, giving people who live here another option for fun over the long Memorial Day weekend.  
If you want to get a good taste of what old-time piano playing is all about, Hominick suggests you head to the Preliminary Competition and Junior Division events on Saturday.
“That’s when you’ll get to hear everyone in one day and the junior champ will be crowned.”

For more details, including information about tickets, visit the contest website.