King’s Academy, February 11, 2016 — 88 Keys, a new initiative at King’s Academy aimed at bringing together pianists of all experience levels and backgrounds to celebrate the “emperor of instruments,” the pianoforte, kicked off last Thursday in the Gallery.
The week-long concert festival began with two insightful master classes taught by music professors Rania Ejeilat and Mohammed Sidiq from the National Music Conservatory in Amman, with the remainder of the week dedicated to evening concerts (solo, four hands and eight hands) that included a variety of music genres spanning from Bach’s inventions to scores from Hollywood movies.
Forty-five students participated in the event, 20 percent of whom were beginners or had limited musical experience. Many were inspired by their peers before deciding to “take the plunge” and finally mustering up the courage to perform in front of a live audience of family and friends, explained music teacher and event organizer Wen Yu Ho.
“The performers’ levels of experience ranges from two months to 25 years but everyone was united behind one passion – the joy of music making,” Ho said. “With all of the events at King’s that showcase student talent, time can often be limited. Hopefully 88 Keys will serve as a platform for everyone to be involved and will provide a longer sense of purpose for the event.”
Several faculty and staff members also joined in the fun, and many of the advanced-level pianists helped mentor the newcomers during rehearsals.
“I felt like a student again! It was challenging but also very interesting learning how to read music and understand the basic concepts of music,” said Educational Technology staff member Sarah Hakouz, who performed for the first time during the event. “I never attended my university graduation party and, when I heard that applause after the performance, I knew this was the highlight of my life.”
Sponsor a student’s practice hours! Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we’re more than halfway to reaching our goal of raising US $18,000 to support the music program at King’s Academy and help us purchase a new piano. If you are interested in making a donation, please contact the Development Office.