JOSHUA TREE, CA—On April 17th, the live musical concert performance world will truly enter into the 21st Century—and Hi-Desert Cultural Center President, Jarrod Radnich, will be leading the charge. In a first-of-its-kind concert performance at the legendary Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland, concert goers will see and hear history in the making with Radnich, touted as one of this nation’s most promising up-and-coming composers and pianists, performing from Joshua Tree’s Blak Box Theater as the featured performer at this world-class event.
With two player grand pianos connected to each other over the Internet, Radnich’s keystrokes and foot peddling in Joshua Tree are faithfully reproduced live on the grand piano at the Strathmore, with every nuance of Radnich’s performance perfectly duplicated on the remote piano.
It’s literally as if his fingers and feet travel through space from Joshua Tree to Bethesda. There is no difference in the two live performances the audiences experience, even though they are separated by thousands of miles. Each audience hears exactly the same music coming from the grand piano at their venue.
The concert opens with Radnich recreating part of the virtual performance featured at Disneyland’s Tomorrowland in the “Home of the Future” exhibit. This is followed by more unique firsts. Patti Cohenour, originally known as “Christine Daae” in Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera, will be singing her signature song “Think Of Me” at the Strathmore while she is accompanied by Radnich from his piano bench in California in what might be termed the ultimate example of a “phantom” performance. This performance with Cohenour will also include several original works from the music of MACAW, written by Radnich. After a unique and special four-handed duet piece between Radnich and Frederic Chiu, a world-renowned classical pianist, the concert will conclude with Chiu on the Avant Grand and CFIIIS Mark IV Disklavier. The entire concert will also feature a full 14-channel wall of sound also sent live from California and reproduced at the Strathmore to give the audience a “complete, aural experience” that will be sure to leave the audience stunned, especially with the knowledge that not all of the performers are in the same physical space at the same time.
Although this concert is for entertainment, the application of this same technology to the field of music education and learning is unparalleled, and represents a significant paradigm shift in the way that musicians may learn and practice. It enables remote music learning/teaching without sacrificing teaching quality, and in fact it enhances that quality because it enables the student to be taught by a teacher who, although geographically not available, is the best match for that student—and vise versa. Most schools and students are restricted in their faculty/teaching choices by geography, and similarly, most teachers are not able to instruct the students of their choice. The result is a mismatched student-faculty pairing.
Thus any school with a music program can improve its program through the use of this type of remote teaching.
The non-profit Hi-Desert Cultural Center has positioned itself to open as the West Coast Internet Remote-Learning Performing Arts Center. Already extremely active in the teaching and promotion of youth into the arts, the Center’s remote music teaching capabilities will be a springboard for its continued growth and community involvement. As Radnich says, “The immense and rapid growth in the Center’s Joshua Tree Philharmonic (known as the J-PHIL) is a solid indicator that the Center’s new and exciting opportunities in music making, teaching, and performance will be enjoyed by and enhance the lives of many. That’s the kind of growth I’m confident we all can support.”