Forty fingers will come together to make a joyful noise at the First Presbyterian Church of Covington Sunday, May 22, courtesy of Alice Walker and Becky Ramsey, of Covington and Sylvia Looney and Dan Ingram of South Carolina. While this keyboard concert, an event featuring pianos as well as an impressive pipe organ, is amazing in its own right, one of the most impressive things is the amount of planning that went into it.
Ramsey and Walker are twins as well as Georgia natives who have studied music their whole lives, so working together in this concert is second nature.
“I believe that that we’ve been playing even before we started going to school.” Walker said.Her sister added that, “We've been playing duets together even before we started really studying music.”
Both sisters later went on to attend Agnes Scott College, and both earned degrees in music.
However, while they live close by, making their own rehearsals easy to schedule, scheduling times to rehearse with Looney and Ingram, was a little more difficult. This is because they both reside in South Carolina, where they grew up. Looney and Ingram are also well accomplished at playing pianos and organs.
Looney received scholarship offers to Juilliard for her organ playing, while Ingram is a registered technician for Allen organs, and has finished and installed more than 600 organs.
Geography wasn't the only difficult factor. As Ramsey puts it, “This was a pretty unusual occasion, just in terms of getting everything together and finding the music for this particular arrangement of instruments.”
Not only did they find music for this arrangement of instruments, including a piece a called Galop - Marche for Eight Hands by Albert Lavignac, which requires all hands to be on deck, but they also have a version of the famous Brandenburg concerto by Bach. This version is transposed for the entire range of keyboard instruments at the concert.
“We actually have every orchestra part covered, so it will come through really well,” Ramsey said.”
The concert will also feature some more religious works such a hymn by the great American choral composer, Phillip Bliss, as well as a few songs from Broadway. The event will not only be auditory, screens and video cameras will also be at the concert, to show the player’s hands during the pieces.
Despite however many challenges arose in the making of this concert, the end result is sure to be amazing.
“I think it's going to be a very fun concert for us.” Ramsey said.
The free concert will begin at 3 p.m.