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Photos from previous years of Pianos on State. Photo credit: A. Arthur Fisher.

A Call to Everyone to Make Some Music

 
We want to hear you play.


At the end of March, a week or two after everything shut down, I got out for walk. Everything had a bit of a surreal feel at the time — the freeways were quiet, too many shelves at the stores were bare, and I knew walking around my neighborhood that house after house was full of quiet people sheltering in place. But as I approached one home, next to the bus stop, I heard music. Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto #3, to be exact. And I said to myself, "Is that live? No, surely not," because it sounded very good. But then sure enough the pianist in the house made a small mistake, stopped, and started over. I couldn't believe it. Here in my neighborhood at a bus stop I walked past nearly every day, for the first time I heard this pianist, playing one of my favorite pieces of music, one of the most difficult pieces of music any pianist can play, and playing it extremely well. And so I sat at the bus stop and listened. I still think about this story about once a week. 

This is Pianos on State's eleventh year. We need traditions like this, opportunities to play music, make art, and be human to each other. While COVID-19 means that this year Pianos can't be right on State Street this year, we love that we get to keep the tradition going with a concert series that will be going live this week and in the weeks ahead, and if you haven't seen the photos of the pianos being painted at the CAW this weekend, you should waste no further time.

But Pianos on State, in its essence, is an opportunity for everyone to make music. So throughout November, Pianos on State is inviting all community members to create videos of themselves playing piano-based music from their homes (or wherever else you can safely), and speaking to what music means to them in these times. You can post your videos to the Pianos on State Facebook page and to your own social media accounts, and make sure to tag @pianosonstate and use the hashtags #pianosonstate2020 and #arthelps. 

It doesn't have to be Rachmaninoff. Whatever music makes you happy, is meaningful to you, big or small, and in some way involves a piano, please play it. (You don't have to paint the piano, but if you wanted to...) Play some music by yourself or with a loved one or two, and post it up. We'd love it if you said a little something in the video about what music has meant to you these last months. 

Traditions matter. Music and art matter. They help keep community strong. 

Who knows, you might get a few bus stop listeners as well. 

With affection,
Casey Caldwell
Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative Managing Director

The Pianos on State 2020 Online Concert Series Venues and Dates:

We are delighted to see all these beloved performing arts venues banding together in support of each other and of music. There's some great shows coming up here:
 

The Santa Barbara Bowl
Happy Half-Hour Performance Livestream Friday, November 13th 5pm, on Instagram @sbbowl

 

Lobero Theatre
Performance up online Tuesday November 17th at 5pm, featuring Zach Gill and Opera Santa Barbara

 

Community Arts Workshop
Performance up online Sunday afternoon November 22nd

 

Marjorie Luke Theatre
Performance up online Wednesday morning November 25th, 9am, with artists Brian Mann, Gil Rosas, Michael Mortilla, Sio Tepper, Mendeleyev, and Jay Real

 

Center Stage Theatre
Performance date TBA!

 

SOHO
A piano peformance featuring Zach Gill, release date date TBA!

All performances in the series going live November 13-25. See each venue’s websites, mailing lists, and social media for updates. And please donate to support your local performing arts venues!

If you would like to donate to support Pianos on State, you may do so here. We are incredibly grateful for our community’s support.

PIANOS ON STATE is a collaborative experience between local organizations:

Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative, Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture, Santa Barbara Education Foundation, Downtown Santa Barbara, and more. 

We are incredibly grateful to our sponsors:

FOUNDATIONAL SPONSOR


LEADERSHIP SPONSOR


ARTIST SPONSOR


PIANO SPONSORS
            

Santa Barbara Chapter of the
Piano Technicians Guild

 

You Too Can Support Pianos on State
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Copyright © 2020 Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative, All rights reserved.


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