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Piano Power shines spotlight on keys

Selkirk College music instructor Gilles Parenteau is organizing Piano Power on February 27. - Bob Hall / Selkirk College
Selkirk College music instructor Gilles Parenteau is organizing Piano Power on February 27.
— image credit: Bob Hall / Selkirk College

With an eye on inspiring the future generation of great musicians, Selkirk College music and technology program instructor Gilles Parenteau is putting together a rare gathering of the community’s most talented keyboard mentors.

In an evening dubbed Piano Power, nine Nelson area keyboard teachers and an assortment of current Selkirk College music students will put on a performance at the Shambhala Hall on February 27.

“It’s going to be the first time all these teachers are performing in one room at the same time,” says Parenteau. “It’s going to be a pretty special night.”

The featured teachers are Muriel Tyler, Dorothy Fraser, Nancy Potter, Anne Macdonald, Donna Goodwin, Jane Ballantine, Danielle Corbin, Judy Runions and Parenteau. They will perform pieces in a wide variety of musical styles from classical to wild electronics.

The goal of the evening is to show young people of the community the power of piano. With instruments like the guitar capturing the imagination of youth, Parenteau feels keyboards are getting left behind because the instrument lacks some of the “cool factor” today’s younger generation covets. By showing current and potential students the impressive skills of their teachers, the Selkirk College keyboard instructor hopes to inspire a new generation.

“I would like the young people to see all the different things you can do with keyboards,” says Parenteau. “We have such an amazing core of piano teachers in this community, their skills are the best showcase of how important the instrument is.”

Piano Power starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 27. Admission is free, but any donations will go towards a clean water project in Togo.

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