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Old-Time Piano Champions Set for Livestreamed Performance

Seven champion old-time piano players will perform gems from early American music in a free online concert, slated for 7 p.m. Friday (July 10).

Three-time champion Brian Holland is set to perform in Friday’s livestreamed event hosted by the the Old-Time Piano Playing Contest and Festival. Submitted photo

“Old-time piano” includes ragtime, blues and early jazz – all American forms of piano playing that were present in the early 20th century.

This is the form of American music celebrated by the Old-Time Piano Playing Contest and Festival, a 46-year-old event that moved to Oxford several years ago and is housed at the University of Mississippi Department of Music.

Ole Miss music professor Ian Hominick learned about the contest in 1994, when he was asked to be a judge.

“After hearing the level of talent on display, I quickly became a fan of this style of music and truly appreciate the significant role it has played in shaping American music,” he said.

Hominick has been the contest’s artistic director since it came to campus in 2016. Moving the event to Oxford has “maintained this one-of-a-kind event and allowed it to grow in stature,” Hominick said. 

“The contest brings in a wide age range of competitors who come from across the U.S. and Europe. The pianists performing Friday night come from diverse backgrounds, and many of them have other full-time jobs. The lucky ones get to quit those jobs and focus on what they love best: making music.”

Friday night‘s event features seven former contest champions performing from their homes in a variety of locations from San Antonio, Texas, to Paris.

Viewers can stream the free concert on the Old-Time Piano Playing Contest and Festival’s YouTube channel or Facebook page. Links are available at http://oldtimepianocontest.com/.

By Lynn Wilkins

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