36 hands to create one seamless sound | NevadaAppeal.com

36 hands to create one seamless sound

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Squeek LaVake, of Virginia City, conducts her students during a performance of Canon in D Sunday at The Steinway Gallery in Reno. All 18 students played simultaneously during the piece.

Six pianos. 18 children. 180 fingers all working to create one piece of music.

Sunday afternoon the students of Squeek LaVake, of Virginia City, gave their spring recital at Steinway Piano Gallery in Reno.

The students are from Carson City and Virginia City and range in age from 9-17. Each student performed several solo pieces before taking their places for the finale.

“It’s the (Johann) Pachelbel Canon and it’s a piece that is able to utilize many layers of music,” LaVake said. “I arranged it so that as the players enter, they are playing something more complex than those before them.”

Even with the complexity of the finale, the individual performances also presented some problems, especially for 9-year-old Ben Siegel of Virginia City.

Ben played Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” and the theme from the “Flintstones” in a sling.

“I fell off a couch and broke my collarbone,” Siegel said. “I’ve been playing piano for years. I do it because my mom wants me to.”

Sixteen-year-old Danielle Rumbaugh was the last to give a solo performance. She chose to end with an original composition that she has been working on for about a year.

“It’s my first time doing my own work. It’s kind of exciting to get some of my work out there,” Danielle said.

Rumbaugh is the oldest of three siblings who participated in the show, she was preceded by her younger sister Arran and her brother Jake.

“The first time we tried to get him to play, he goofed off and would try to play another song. So we stopped and waited until he was 8 or 9 before we tried again,” Danielle said. “There isn’t a rush for the piano, it’s more like ‘she gets to play, so I’ll find something else to do.'”

Arlan Pritchard, who co-owns the gallery with his wife Lamis, said he was impressed with the work the students had done.

“The Canon was pretty neat. It’s one of my favorite pieces because it keeps building on itself,” Pritchard said.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at jshipley@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.