January 2016 marked the inaugural Piano Festival produced by the San Diego Symphony titled Upright & Grand. From January 8th to February 8th (signifying the 88 keys on a piano), the city was immersed in piano-centric performances of all sorts.
Solo recitals with La Jolla Music Society, solo piano with Orchestra at the Jacobs Music Center, Ben Folds live! , a community piano day at Copley Symphony Hall including a Monster Piano Concert with 6 grand pianos, and one of the more unique portion of the project was Pianos in Public Spaces (#PIPS).
In 10 unique locations in the San Diego environs(including Coronado, Point Loma, and Escondido), pianos were decorated by local youth and community organizations and displayed for the public to play them throughout the month. Throngs of people found these pianos and would showcase their hidden talents. Who knew so many pianists were among us?! Some of the local musicians found these a treasure to perform on in order to share their talents as well. Here are a few of the favorite videos that came out of the Pianos in Public Spaces project:
Not a One – The Young Wild
Shout! House- Flash Mob
Bumble Bee Boogie – Melissa Alcazar
That’s All – Jory Herman and Bryan Verhoye