Dueling Pianos

By Lindsay Cameron

Imagine sipping a virgin margarita, pinky up, in Redwood, partaking in mingle splendor with over 100 other AU undergraduates.

Now add a wave of competitive musical vehemence, mind blowing piano skills, and a dose of weekend fervor.

This is the recipe for karaoke psychosis.

The Campus Activities Board will sponsor a Dueling Pianos event free to AU students. The event will take place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17, in Redwood Hall. it will feature two professional pianists called Dueling Pianos International.

Marisa Uhrig, current CAB co-leader, said the pianists will take karaoke requests and perform the songs with the audience split in half. Both sides of the audience will compete against each other during the event by singing karaoke while the pianos duel against one another. Uhrig said there will be prizes and also that dancing will be welcome.

“(Dueling Pianos) is more involved, since most of our acts are comedians, singers, and magicians,” Uhrig said. “It gives students) a chance to get involved. It puts them in the event. It also brings them together.”

Uhrig compared Dueling Pianos to the Plastic Musik CAB event last spring. She said many students were unsure about Plastic Musik and what would happen at the event. Most people who went were amazed, she said, by the talented performers who drummed pop, classical, rock, and video games songs with boom whackers-plastic tubing with musical pitches. She said students discovered the event was more interactive than expected.

Uhrig said those who enjoyed Plastic Musik should come to Dueling Pianos.

Nicole Dyer, director of student life and advisor to CAB, said Dueling Pianos may be an act that students have never seen before. Students may not understand what the event is, but she said they should give it a chance and come out anyway.

“We try to get students involved and try to be social in a fun atmosphere,” Dyer said while hoping to expose students to new entertainment acts.

Jerika Gilcreast, last year’s CAB co-leader, saw Dueling Pianos at the National Association for Campus Activities Northeast Regional Conference.

“It’s like Karaoke but instead you have two very talented individuals playing,” Gilcreast said.

Each year, CAB leaders attend NACA to return to the rest of the CAB staff at AU with ideas for the upcoming year.

Gilcreast said at NACA the audience tested the pianists’ musical abilities to play random songs. Gilcreast said Dueling Pianos performed “Don’t Stop Believin,'” by Journey, “Umbrella,” by Rhianna, and “My Girl,” by the Temptations among others.

“Personally, I like them because they had stage presence; they made you want to become interactive,” Gilcreast said. “I thought it was very impressive that they knew every song anyone suggested. The song could have been from the ‘80s or recently played on the radio,”

Gilcreast said anyone who enjoys karaoke will love Dueling Pianos, but it will be a fun time for all.

Jason Scarcelli, management and booking agent for Dueling Pianos International, said Dueling Pianos International travels to 80 schools each year and was voted performers of the year by the Association and Promotion of Campus Activities.

“Dueling Pianos International is an all-request, rock-n-roll, sing-along, clap-along, piano comedy show that makes the audience the star of the show,” Scarcelli said.

Dueling Pianos International has 250 entertainers on their roster and 50 of them tour. Brandon Kent and Landon Rocks will be the entertainers at AU, and both of them know thousands of songs by request, he said.

For more videos, visit duelingpianoshows.com and select “College Corner.”