Local First Blog

Teamwork and Talent On Stage at this Year’s Piano Cottage Rocks Concert

Jul 11, 2016 1:50:00 PM / by Local First

The DeVos Performance Hall stage has been graced with talented acts such as James Taylor, Jerry Seinfeld, and Dave Chappelle and has served as the home for Broadway Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Symphony. On July 21, students ranging in ages from 6-17 will take to the same stage in the Piano Cottage’s 5th Anniversary Piano Cottage Rocks performance.

“The talent in there is mind boggling” says Jody McCarger, who with her husband Wright founded The Piano Cottage music school in 2008. The school, based in East Grand Rapids, offers high quality music education. Many of their students go on to high level music schools and professional music careers. Piano Cottage Rocks is their annual showcase and the competition to perform on stage that evening is high. This year 150 students auditioned for the show with 26 acts chosen to perform. Students who not chosen were added to supporting the bands or to the chorus of 80 students.

This is the first year that the show will be held at DeVos Performance Hall. In previous years, it has been held at the Wealthy Theater and last year, at Frederick Meijer Gardens. Not only have the venues grown, but the overall talent has as well. At the first Piano Cottage Rocks the school brought in outside musicians to help perform the songs. Now, it’s all the students. Not only that, but the students are also planning the show’s production, arraigning, and lighting plans.

While the show serves as a great showcase for the musical talent at the school, it also teaches the students teamwork. McCarger said that many of them practice and take lessons individually, and the show offers them the opportunity to perform as part of an ensemble. Instead of practicing alone, they are practicing together and becoming good friends! The show is also a reunion as former students love to return and help out with the event.

So what can people expect when they come to the show? McCarger said that the show is two hours long with a 15 minute intermission after the first hour.  The show is well paced, builds towards a climatic ending, and features familiar songs, which sound unique coming from voices you don’t expect! The show is Thursday July 21 and starts at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $15-$20 dollars and can be purchased at the DeVos Center box office or ticketmaster.com. If you’d like more information about school, please visit thepianocottage.com

Photographs courtesy of The Piano Cottage Studios

Local First

Written by Local First