Dueling Pianos at Embry Riddle University in Prescott Arizona October 8, 2012 at 1:15 pm
Jake and Ryan had a blast in both Pheonix and Prescott Arizona last week (July 27, 28 and 29, 2013). The highlight of the Dueling Pianos performance tour was at Embry Riddle University. Student Advisors Liz and Terri were wonderful hosts and both Jake and Ryan are eager to return to Embry Riddle January, 2013. For a closer look at our Arizona Dueling Pianos tour, visit: http://www.erau-news.com/dueling-pianos-bring-campus-together-cms-438 or read below:
“dueling pianos,” the first image that may come to mind is a couple of people actually fighting each other with pianos. Then in hindsight, that image is overly absurd. Friday night, Sept. 28, the lower hanger was abuzz with anticipation as the venue was transformed into a dueling piano “bar.”
“A dueling piano bar is typically a small nightclub that centers around two grand pianos positioned back-to-back with two pianists facing each other. The pianists play songs based on requests from the audience. Patrons write their requests on request forms or any piece of paper they can find and put them on top of the pianos; the piano players then get to work on playing as many requests as they can…”
All of those elements were in place for the evening, except for a couple: the pianos were actually keyboards, and the bar area was sectioned off from the rest of the room. As 100 students and faculty filed into the “nightclub,” the atmosphere was full of anticipation for the night’s entertainment.
Beginning at 7 p.m., students played a Jeopardy!-style trivia game, a very common practice at many bars. This allowed the patrons in groups of two to four to find out who was “the best” at general knowledge; however, the categories were anything but typical for Embry-Riddle. A couple of the categories were focused on facts about alcohol and drugs, while another was about pianos. This game went on for about an hour and until a winner was determined. The top score of the evening was 3900 while second place only received 1700; this demonstrated who had been doing their homework.
At 8 p.m., the main event began as the pianists Ryan and Jake made their entrance from the back of the room and took their places at the pianos. The main opener for the evening was the song “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis. Once the notes started flowing, the voices of the audience started to chime in as they began singing along. This merely opened the flood gates for request after request for songs from the audience as nearly ten song requests at a time were made. The sheer number caused Jake to comment, “I need a secretary for these requests.”
As the night continued, many classic songs passed through the nimble fingers of the pianist from “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot and “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks to “Linus and Lucy” by Vince Guaraldi and the “Friends” theme song. Then the festivities became even more exciting as the “duelists” started a competition between the two sides of the room. In a proverbial nutshell, a song from either a TV series or movie would be played and either side needed to be the first to shout out the title. The side with the correct response was given a point. However, events became more exciting when Ryan and Jake called forth the “smartest” man and woman from the audience to play a listening game. The song played was “My Bonny” and the players were to alternate who was sitting in a chair and who was standing whenever a “B” word in the song was sung. This became more entertaining when the whole audience joined in; Ryan commented that the whole audience “looked like the Whack-A-Mole game.”
With only fifteen minutes remaining in the evening, excitement picked up as the pianists took most of the remaining requests on their table and combined them into a vast medley “mash-up” between old and new songs from “Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Sieger to “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga. Upon the final note of the medley, the audience erupted with applause and gave Jake and Ryan a standing ovation. The patrons left the “club” with more spring in their steps.
Dueling Pianos International nationwide booking information: 1-800-700-S-I-N-G (7464)