After a two-year hiatus, the Oakton Community College Piano Ensemble celebrates its return to live performance.
The ensemble will perform concerts at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 23 and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 24 at the Footlik Theater at Oakton Community College, 1600 E. Golf Road, Des Plaines.
Founded and led by Glenna Sprague, Oakton teacher and music coordinator, the Oakton Piano Ensemble has been delighting audiences for over 25 years.
This is a performance group made up of mature students chosen through a highly selective audition process. Due to the pandemic, the ensemble has not performed live since 2019, but instead held virtual performances.
“Oakton’s piano ensemble is hailed by critics around the world as ‘extraordinary’, ‘innovative’ and ‘technically superb’,” said Skokie resident Sprague. “I am extremely excited to return to live performances to allow audiences to experience this incredible collection of talent as planned.”
Performers this year include Beatriz Levi, Northfield; Jacob Levin, Northbrook; Monika Miodragovic, Chicago; and Jason Nelson, Des Plaines.
Playing on several pianos, the band performs not only traditional classical piano music, but also symphonic literature, ragtime and jazz.
The rich, layered sound of the ensemble compares to that of an orchestra, with each member playing a different part of a composition as the melody passes from pianist to pianist.
The ensemble will present works by Haydn (Symphony No. 104); Beethoven (March, Op. 45, No. 2); Piazzolla (Libertango); Ellington (Satin Doll); Joplin (Rag-Time Dance); Vandall (Oakton Toccata) and other works.
Oakton Toccata is a composition composed and dedicated especially for the Oakton Piano Ensemble by the late renowned composer Robert Vandall. It is published by Alfred Publishing Company.
The ensemble has performed across the United States and Europe, including at the 32nd World Conference of the International Society for Music Education at the Royal Conservatory of Scotland in Glasgow, as well as in Vienna, Austria .
The Oakton Piano Ensemble has released two compact discs: Live in Concert and Live in Concert II.
Tickets are $17 for general admission and $14 for seniors and students. The number of places will be limited; COVID-19 protocols will apply. Order your tickets online at www.oakton.edu/tickets or call the Oakton box office, (847) 635-1900.