Sunday, January 5, 2014

LMTA presents "Taking Flight" - the 2014 Extravaganza

On Sunday, Jan. 12, LMTA will present the 2014 Extravaganza. The event will be held at the O'Donnell Auditorium on the Nebraska Wesleyan campus at 3:00pm on Sunday. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $5 for adult and $3 for ages 16 and under.

What is an Extravaganza?

According to Charlotte Heermann who is co-chairing this year's Extravaganza, "This is a special opportunity for students to play in an ensemble if they haven't done so previously: follow a conductor and listen to others playing to be sure they are together. These things help form their understanding and musicianship, but perhaps just as important, they have a chance to have fun with music and make new friends."

The 2011 Extravaganza - see all the pianos on stage?!
Photo courtesy of Jo Karl

15 digital keyboards, provided by Dietze Music House, will be on stage. 30 pianists will take the stage at a time -- two per piano -- and play a duet under the baton of Del Whitman. Thirteen groups at varying levels will play duets and a brief narration will be read between each group by Joe Skare of B107.3. The narration, written by this LincolnCMN writer, will give insight into the musical ideas to listen for in each piece. Photographs of wildlife will be projected on a screen during each piece. These photographs are courtesy of Steve Zechmann and Joe Wicks.

As you can imagine from the above description, a lot of work has gone into brining this event together. Heermann shared some insight into the process:

"Some of the tasks required to put this event together include securing a venue, a performance date, keyboards, a conductor, a narrator, selection of music, chairmen and committees to work on specific aspects of the production.
We are deeply indebted to Nebraska Wesleyan University for hosting us on January 12, and Keith Heckman of Dietze Music House for providing the Clavinova keyboards for the performance. At least 17 committees have or are working on various aspects of the Extravaganza, and we have been working on this since August 2012."

This is LMTA's tenth Extravaganza, besides the pianos on stage, several groups of violins and other strings will take the stage to perform together as well. Since 1983, LMTA has been providing this experience of ensemble playing for young musicians.

Besides the committees and sponsors, the teachers, parents, and students have also put in a great deal of time and effort--and Sunday will be a wonderful time to enjoy the fruits of their labors as the young musicians "take flight" and the audience listens...

...for bees, balloons, and butterflies, kites and clouds, phantoms, and fire-breathing dragons!

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