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A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a talented theatre-maker that brought up a question I was blindsided by—why do we even bother doing old plays? As classic plays go, The Piano Lesson isn't that old—it premiered in 1987 and earned August Wilson his second Pulitzer Prize in 1990. As the lights come up on Doaker Charles' modest Pittsburgh home (a set built by William Bloodgood), the titular instrument sits far stage left, intricately carved, polished to a high gloss, and loaded as a gun in a Chekhov play. During his residency in Seattle, Wilson developed a special relationship with Seattle Rep, which remains one of the few theatres to have staged the cycle in full.
Wilson's writing weaves poetry into the rich humor of everyday language, like gold thread glinting from thick tapestry. So diametrically opposed are Berniece and Boy Willie that it takes an otherworldly deus ex machina to bring this play to its somewhat abrupt conclusion. Brendan Kibbee, a Jersey City-based pianist, has been teaching music for over ten years and has been working with My Music Garden since 2008. In addition to his work with My Music Garden, Sam has maintained his own teaching studio in the Bedford Park neighborhood in the Bronx since 2008. Summer Music Camps 2016Summer’s coming up and with it comes Seattle Drum School’s epic Music Camps! Acting lessons are offered for private and group classes.We also are available to host an acting party at your next shindig. When I have a student get excited about our lessons it really makes me happy inside to know that I can bring other people joy, especially, through music! We know how it can be to be a parent or spouse waiting for your child or loved one to take a lesson. When so much older work is so abysmally dated as to be offensive, why don't we forge ahead by focusing on the groundbreaking work being born around us? It takes place in 1936, during the great migration that sent north countless African-Americans, including members of the Charles family, to escape the Jim Crow south.
Within minutes, Doaker's nephew Boy Willie has barged into the room and brought with him the ostensibly simple argument at the center of the play: He's come from Mississippi to sell the heirloom piano, so he can buy the land their family worked as slaves (on the market after the untimely, unlikely death of the white landowner).

Etched into the instrument is generation upon generation of the suffering the Charles family has lived through. Director Timothy Bond (also artistic director of Piano Lesson co-producer Syracuse Stage) has a long track record as a talented interpreter of Wilson's work, and this is no exception. She began piano lessons at the age of twelve with her mother, a pianist, teacher and composer.
Apsel has over ten years experience teaching piano students of all levels, from young beginners to adult conservatory graduates, and views teaching as one of her most important musical activities. With a background in both classical and jazz piano, Brendan enjoys working with his students on developing their classical repertoire and also on jazz, blues, and improvisation. Highlights of his musical studies there include many performances in local jazz clubs, and in the classical realm, winning the University of Minnesota's Mechelke Scholarship Competition in 2004.
Since 2010 he has also worked as staff piano teacher and accompanist at the Washington Heights Choir School, a free after school music program in his home neighborhood in Manhattan.
It's the fourth play in Wilson's Century Cycle (or Pittsburgh Cycle): 10 plays, one set in each decade of the 20th century, chronicling 100 years of the African-American experience. His sister Berniece, who brought the piano north with her after the early death of her husband, has no intention of selling. Berniece and Boy Willie's great-grandfather was a slave who carved the wood himself—after his own wife and child were traded away for the instrument by his owner. As Boy Willie, Stephen Tyrone Williams is the explosive center of this play, but Berniece's (Erika LaVonn) wrought-iron reserve is more than a match for his rash, single-minded stubbornness. Her progress was exceptional, and within two years she earned prizes in several competitions at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland. Since receiving a bachelors degree in music for piano performance at Rutgers University in 2005, Brendan has gone on to perform at jazz clubs throughout New York City and New Jersey, also working as a choral accompanist. After moving to New York to pursue his musical education he graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor's in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Since 2011 he has held the position of Assistant Organist at Holyrood Church, also in Washington Heights. Their father later died taking the piano from the white family that still owned it, and for 17 years after their mother polished it with her blood and her tears.

I've seen The Piano Lesson several times in my life, and each time it's resonated at a different emotional frequency, because my life, my experience, is always different.
Subsequent studies with scholarship at the University of Washington and the Manhattan School of Music culminated in a Bachelor of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music, awarded in 2008. All of her teaching is informed by her musical experience and knowledge of music theory and history, as well as by her creativity, exceptional ear, and the drive to help others with every aspect of music making. In addition to teaching, Brendan is currently working towards a PhD in Ethnomusicology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). Although his education is primarily classically-oriented, Sam enjoys playing and teaching in a wide variety of musical styles and traditions. Steve Smith’s Birthday Celebration At Columbia City TheaterCome Celebrate The Seattle Drum School and founder Steve Smith’s Birthday! For the mom's that are waiting for their children to take a lesson we also offer mini ice cream for those that would like to indulge for only $2. The Piano Lesson, a brilliant production of which opened last night at Seattle Repertory Theatre, is exactly that.
She has recently performed in New York City, Seattle, and Vermont; and this year will be giving several solo recitals, including an all-Beethoven program. In addition to his ongoing exploration of the classical piano repertoire, his recent musical projects include learning to play the pipe organ and exploring the world of church music, as well as recording several pop songs with a singer-songwriter.
D'Agostino Greenberg Music School at Lighthouse International for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Garey William Big Band Drumming ClinicJoin us for a Garey Williams Big Band Drumming Clinic on Saturday, December 5th at 3:00pm at the Seattle Drum School Georgetown.

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