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Eight pianists, one piano

ELIZABETHTOWN - Rose Chancler-Feinbloom and her talented group of friends are once again breaking the mold of the traditional piano recital.

As the last concert in the 2008-2009 Piano by Nature concert series, Feinbloom teams up with nine other pianists to present "From Zero to Eight Hands," showing April 25 and 26 at the historic Hand House in Elizabethtown.

The concert will present many unique and lighthearted performances as musicians progress from solo performances to those featuring two, three, four, and even eight people sharing one keyboard.

Among those featured are past Piano By Nature performers including fellow pianist Jennifer Moore and marimbist Jane Boxall. New to the series are renowned keyboardists Kevin Stolz and Rene Lecuona.

"Some are my students, some are community members," said Feinbloom. "The people that have come together for this have been amazing."

Other local talent includes Ann Kennedy and Fabienne Rossi of Westport. Dr. Rob DeMuro joins his son, Dom, and Kyra Schaefer, both students of Feinbloom.

"The grand part about this will be the visual," said Feinbloom, explaining how the musicians will perform relatively acrobatic feats to allow multiple people to play the piano simultaneously.

"Every piece in the concert is so different, it's likely never been heard nor seen before," she added, noting how many are from living composers, including a few she knows personally from her studies at Eastman School of Music.

The unusual repertoire fits in well with the ongoing theme of Piano by Nature, which Feinbloom said is to show the instrument in its 20th century guise.

"Sometimes the piano sounds like a full orchestra," said Feinbloom. "Sometimes it sounds like a percussion instrument. You really think about the variety of ways the piano can be used."

Still, fun remains the primary focus as audience members get to watch performers navigate around and between one another in rather tight quarters.

"There's a lot of humor in this, a lot of levity," said Moore. "There's a big entertainment factor in this, for sure."

"The reason I'm in this is I get to rub elbows with the elite," joked Kennedy.

Concerts are scheduled for April 25 at 7 p.m. and April 26 at 3 p.m. The suggested donation is $15 for adults and $5 for ages 15 and younger. Reservations are required due to limited seating. To place a reservation and find out more about the concert, visit www.pianobynature.org or call Feinbloom at 962-2949.

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