SPRINGFIELD – On Friday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m., Urbana native pianist/artist Scott Kirby will perform at the Clark State Performing Arts Center in Springfield.
Tickets are $23 each and may be obtained by going to pac.clarkstate.edu or calling 937-328-3874.
Kirby began his study of music at the age of 6 and continued formal piano instruction for 17 years. He worked under Robert Howat of Wittenberg University and Sylvia Zaremba at the Ohio State University. Kirby moved to New Orleans and began his professional music career as a street performer. In the following four years, he recorded the complete rags of Scott Joplin and made his debut at all of the major ragtime festivals in the United States, as well as festivals in Belgium, France, Norway, New Zealand and Hungary. He has composed over 150 original works for piano and other instruments.
The performance in Springfield will present his “Main Street Souvenirs,” a musical and cinematic celebration of Classic Americana.
Kirby will explore 150 years of music through live piano performances of some of America’s greats, including Stephen Foster, John Philip Sousa and the ragtime of Scott Joplin.
The music and narratives will be accompanied by a video featuring nostalgic archival images from America’s past, as well as photography and Kirby’s own watercolor paintings of the Great Plains that “touch the soul of the heartland.”
Baseball games and barbershops, prairie churches, concerts in the park and one-room school houses will all be featured in the performance.
“The beginning of the program will feature Urbana, my hometown, with several great photos,” said Kirby. “‘Main Street’ is where people gather in Urbana, like people do in towns everywhere. It’s not political or abstract. It’s about community.”
Kirby, a 1983 graduate of Urbana High School, toured Champaign County schools in January as part of an artist-residency program through the Champaign County Arts Council.
He will perform at Urbana High School on Monday, March 27, as a makeup for a show cancelled in January due to weather.
Kirby will do a show for youths at Project Jericho in Springfield on Saturday, March 25.