Two pianists at one keyboard equals “fun” concert

Two pianists at one keyboard equals “fun” concert

Cheryl Cooney and Debra Bakland perform pieces for four hands on Thursday

Cheryl Cooney and Debra Bakland usually play their piano duets while sitting across the room from each other at two different keyboards.

Sometimes they’ve even joined up with other musicians to play as a group on three or four pianos.

But on Thursday, Jan. 5, Cooney and Bakland will sit next to each other to perform on one instrument for their International Duo di Molto concert at the Snell Auditorium at the Red Deer Public Library. Why four hands on one keyboard?

“Because it’s fun!” said Cooney, who grew up playing “sit-down” duets with cousins — especially around the holidays.

Although the Red Deer pianist and Bakland, who teaches in Lacombe, have to anticipate each other’s movements to avoid getting “all tangled up” as they play, there’s something special about hearing a piece of music born out of close co-operation between partners, said Cooney. She believes listeners will appreciate the richness of tone provided by all the additional notes.

The two pianists are planning an Austrian-themed concert as part of the First Thursdays at the Snell series. Brahms’ waltzes from 1865 (Numbers 1-5, 8 and 14) will be performed at the free noon-hour show. The dances were influenced by stately Viennese waltzes, said Cooney. “People will recognize some of this music.”

Mozart’s colourful Sonata for Four Hands in B-Flat Major, will take listeners through a vibrant opening, a lovely, slow middle, and a peppy ending, reminiscent of an operetta soundtrack.

Schubert’s Fantasie in F Minor “is one of the most beautiful pieces in our repertoire,” said Cooney.

The movements are, by turns, nostalgic, dramatic and dance-like.

Bakland and Cooney have performed as a duo around Central Alberta for the last three years.

They met at Burman University in Lacombe, where Washington State native Bakland teaches music and Cooney has performed as an accompanist for students since retiring from music instruction at Red Deer College.

The women bring together a wealth of experience. Cooney is also a composer, who studied in Austria and the U.S., and had her own works performed across the globe.

Bakland, who joined Burman after a 30-year teaching career in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, has adjudicated, presented workshops, and mentored students who have won many awards.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Whistle Stop Cafe east of Mirror is open for sit-down dining in defiance of health restrictions that owner Christopher Scott says are unfair to restaurants and other small businesses.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Whistle Stop Cafe owner’s legal battle continues

Government stopped closure order legal action but Public Health Act breach still a live issue

RCMP seized a substantial amount of stolen property last week. (Photo courtesy of Innisfail RCMP)
RCMP charge six suspects after ‘substantial’ amount of stolen property seized

Innisfail RCMP recovered a large amount of stolen property after arresting six… Continue reading

Pharmacist Aamir Hussain, owner of Shoppers Drug Mart in Clearview Market Square, said he expects vaccine to be available to eligible seniors next week at his store. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Red Deer pharmacies prepare to be part of COVID-19 immunization plan

Seniors have already been calling to book appointments

Alberta Health Services Logo
AHS checking in with local businesses about COVID-19 plan

Alberta Health Services in the central zone is reaching out to local… Continue reading

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Butter and sourdough bread is shown at a house in Vernon, B.C. on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. A Quebec dairy farmers' group is calling on milk producers to stop feeding palm oil or its derivatives to livestock as controversy churns over how these supplements affect the consistency of butter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jesse Johnston
Dairy farmers lobby asks members to stop using palm oil in feed after ‘buttergate’

A dairy producers’ lobbying group is asking farmers to consider alternatives to… Continue reading

A new report says Canada’s small businesses now collectively owe more than $135 billion as they struggle to survive the pandemic, a staggering amount experts say could hurt the country’s economic recovery. (Photo by The Canadian Press)
Canadian small businesses rack up $135 billion in debt to survive pandemic: Report

TORONTO — Canada’s small businesses have collectively taken on $135 billion in… Continue reading

A Loblaws store is seen in Montreal on March 9, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Loblaw ready to call on pharmacists, supply chain to help COVID-19 vaccine rollout

BRAMPTON, Ont. — Loblaw Companies Ltd. says its ready to play a… Continue reading

Imperial Oil logo as seen at the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Friday, April 29, 2016.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Imperial Oil reports one-billion-barrel drop in bitumen reserves at end of 2020

CALGARY — Imperial Oil Ltd. is cutting one billion barrels from its… Continue reading

Justice Minister David Lametti responds to a question during a news conference about training for judges Monday, Oct. 19, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Justice Minister David Lametti proposes permanent justice reforms in wake of pandemic

OTTAWA — The COVID-19 pandemic appears set to force a modernization of… Continue reading

Justice Minister David Lametti during a news conference in Ottawa, Thursday Nov. 26, 2020. Lametti says he will seek parliamentary approval to remove a Quebec judge from the bench after the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear the judge’s appeal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Justice minister to seek judge’s removal after Supreme Court declines to hear appeal

OTTAWA — Justice Minister David Lametti says he will seek parliamentary approval… Continue reading

Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Vice-Admiral Art McDonald is seen during an interview with The Canadian Press in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Military reeling as new defence chief steps aside amid allegations of misconduct

OTTAWA — The Canadian Armed Forces is reeling after news defence chief… Continue reading

William Sandeson arrives at provincial court in Halifax on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015. Canada’s top court has declined to hear a Crown appeal of an overturned murder conviction in the case of a former Nova Scotia medical student. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Supreme Court declines to hear Crown appeal of overturned N.S. murder conviction

Canada’s top court has declined to hear an appeal from the Crown… Continue reading

Most Read