Right after the New Rag Contest on Friday there will be a series of accompanied silent film comedies shown in the main auditorium. Don't watch the piano player (or shoot him) as they try to add some life to already lively short films by Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Monty Banks, and more. This is a first for the festival weekend, but we hope to continue the tradition over the next few years. Accompaniments by Bill Edwards, Adam Swanson, and possibly more.
The Regular Division of the Old-time Piano Playing Contest was filled plus two extra spots from the Junior Division, and the New Rag Contest is full. HOWEVER, one space has opened up for one lucky contestant in either division. You may enter on-line in the Contest section, or no later than 7:30 A.M. the morning of May 25 on site at the Four Points Sheraton lower level contestants room.
In addition, there is no longer any space on the Spirit of Peoria riverboat luncheon cruise on Friday, May 24, is taken. There still is space available for their summer trips, however. Those interested in attending these event should contact the boat at 800-767-8988 or visit their website at SpiritOfPeoria.com.
A fund has been established at Peoria's Southside Bank for disabled veteran Jim Millsap of Highland IN, who has been diagnosed with terminal leukemia. When he called the piano contest to ask about attending the 2013 event, he indicated getting to the World Championship Old-time Piano Playing Contest and Festival is one of the items on his “bucket list” of things to do while he is able. His military disability is the result of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, making it unlikely that even an improvement in his leukemia would allow him to attend future contests.
Unable to drive more than about 20 miles away from home as a condition of his Veterans Administration treatment, Jim might get stuck at home. Through the efforts of Harry Canterbury, a local Peoria radio personality, listeners of his Sunday morning show will be asked to raise enough cash to have Millsap picked up at home, pay for his hotel stay and meals, plus the Thursday night “Tune-Ups” May 23 at Sky Harbor Steakhouse and a luncheon cruise on the spirit of Peoria riverboat on Friday, May 24.
If you would like to contribute to this effort to give Jim a weekend that he will likely not be able to repeat, send your check to the “Jim Millsap Fund” c/o the Southside Bank, 2119 S.W. Adams St. Peoria IL 61602 or drop off at any Southside Bank branch.
The PianoForte Foundation of Chicago 2013 Gala event on April 18 took place in a warehouse where fixtures and artifacts from old buildings are sold to rehabbers and contractors. Amid an array of chandeliers, bookcases, molding, bath fixtures and more, 2012 Junior Champion Daniel Souvigny, 1990 World Champion Bill Edwards and contest judge Paul Asaro played Ragtime, honky-tonk and Tin-Pan Alley music styles to a group of supporters who spent $125 per ticket. The foundation acquires and repairs pianos for use in schools in the Chicago area, and their mailing list of over 4,000 piano-sympathetic souls now knows about the World Championship Old-time Piano Playing Contest and Festival. Click to read more.