May 21, 2013

Campus piano sale invitation from Mark Wait, Dean, Blair School of Music


Dear faculty, staff, students and friends of the Blair School of Music.

On April 7, the Blair School of Music’s acclaimed student percussion ensemble, VORTEX, was honored to perform the Southeastern United States premiere of George Antheil’s restored Ballet mécanique.

This “ballet” was not a performance by dancers, but rather by musicians and mechanical instruments, including player pianos, airplane propellers and electric bells, which move as machines and provide the visual components of the ballet. As this unusual instrumentation suggests, this is no ordinary piece of music.

What VORTEX presented was Antheil’s original composition, which the composer himself did not live to see because the necessary technology did not exist until recently. Ballet mécanique can now be performed as originally intended thanks to the development of midi-processors, called Disklaviers, which allow for multiple player pianos to be synchronized with each other. The VORTEX performance also included the original, seldom-seen Dadaist film that was created for the piece in 1924.

The Blair School of Music was able to present this historic concert thanks to Miller Piano Specialists and Yamaha Corp., which generously lent eight midi-equipped Disklaviers for the rehearsals and performance of Ballet mécanique.

In the wake of this concert, the Blair School is pleased to host a sale of these midi-equipped Disklaviers, as well as many other new and used instruments of various types, May 23-27. I am told that pianos will be offered for sale at prices significantly lower than on the showroom floor. Here is a link to details about the sale for your convenience.

The Blair School of Music was thrilled to be able to present this groundbreaking performance, and we wish to express our profound gratitude to Yamaha Corp. and Miller Piano Specialists for making this event possible.


Mark Wait

Dean, Blair School of Music