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Piano players take over Oxford on Memorial Day Weekend

The World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest & Festival returns to Oxford this week for its 44th season. The festival boasts the largest, most comprehensive, competitive events for pianists who love ragtime, traditional jazz and blues.  Competitors ages 11 to 81, from across the U.S., France and Great Britain, will dress in period costume, and compete for cash prizes and trophies.
For the audience, highlights include a Silent Movie Luncheon with live piano accompaniment on Saturday and a sing-along of the old classics. The opening Tune-ups Party kicks off Thursday at the Powerhouse while all other after-hours events will take place at Chancellor’s House.
Artistic director and music professor at Ole Miss Ian Hominick says, if you love music, you’ll want to give one or more of the events a try.

“One of the first comments I hear from newcomers to the contest is ‘Why haven’t I heard about this before? These pianists are fabulous and the music is so much fun,'” Hominick said.
For families, the festival offers a break from the heat and boredom on a holiday weekend.
“The events I think children would enjoy the most would be the Junior Division contest on Saturday morning and the Silent Movies with live piano accompaniment.  With the Junior Contest, they can see and hear kids their own age up on stage and draw inspiration from their performances,” Hominick said.
Kids 12-and-under also get all events for half-price, with the exception of the bus tour and the catered events. To capture the flavor of this event, check out the festival’s YouTube channel for past performances.

Tickets are available at www.oldtimepianocontest.com.  The festival runs May 24-27.

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