Young pianists from throughout the Chicagoland area are descending upon the Raue Center for the Arts this weekend.
And the young musicians will be joined by a trio of world-renown musicians.
The Raue, located at 26 N. Williams St. in Crystal Lake, is hosting the first-ever Annual Piano Conference featuring Grammy Award-winner Melissa Manchester, Emmy winning composer Kurt Bestor and instrumentalist Danny Wright.
Fox Hills Grands
The weekend of entertainment starts with the Fox Hills Grands performance at 7 p.m. Friday, June 29, where more than 100 local piano students will play on five grand pianos on the Raue stage.
"This is definitely more than just a piano recital," said Alexandra McMillin, marketing and development coordinator for the Raue.
The evening will conclude with Mike Yoo and Mike Muggli playing Rhapsody in Blue on the famous Twin Blue Baldwin Grand pianos. Tickets for that show are $10.
On Saturday, a group of 20 students, age 15 and older, will join Manchester, Bestor and Wright in private master classes fine-tuning their piano and singing skills. Those students were chosen through a selection process, McMillin said.
America Celebrates the Piano Concert
The 'Fourth of July' will be the theme of America Celebrates the Piano Concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 30. Manchester, Bestor and Wright will lead the concert featuring classic patriotic music. The show will be followed by a reception of cake and champagne.
Tickets for the Saturday performance are $30.
Interfaith Celebration Concert
The weekend will wrap up with an Interfaith Celebration Concert at 11 a.m. Sunday, July 1. All three artists will appear together again. Wright will perform songs from his "Faith" album; Manchester will play her hit, "A Mother's Prayer;" and Bestor will play "Prayer for the Children." A children's choir also is scheduled to sing.
Tickets for the Interfaith concert are $19 each.
One flat-ticket rate of $55 gains admission for all of the weekend shows. Tickets are available for all shows. More information about the shows are available at the Raue Box Office at 815-356-9212.