For the first time ever, the Dueling Piano Kings will be performing in Strathmore. Headlining the "Denim and Diamonds" fundraiser event hosted by the Strathmore Regional Victim Services Society, the Dueling Piano Kings will be hitting the stage on June 3 at the Strathmore Civic Centre.
The back-to-back "Entertainer of the Year" winner at the Canadian Event Awards has a long history of amazing shows, as one of their performers Patrick McGannon has played events all over the world for people like Bill Clinton and Tom Hanks, while the other Piano King Jesse Peters has also travelled the world including a six-city tour in China. McGannon is also the founder and creator of the Dueling Piano Kings, and he's looking forward to bringing the show to Strathmore.
"I don't think we've ever played a public event in Strathmore ever, and that was a real appeal to me. We're always keen to get into different areas and it's a great cause, something that we certainly believe in personally. It's a great chance to get in front of a different audience that we haven't played in front of before and just have some fun in a different environment," McGannon said.
The Dueling Piano Kings host a unique show in that there's no setlist or plan; their show is all about taking live requests from the audience and playing it on the spot. McGannon said the spontaneity and audience control of the show makes the Dueling Piano Kings special, and he really enjoys how engaged they are with the audience.
"It's really one of the few forms of entertainment where the audience has a complete say on the outcome of what happens on stage. We really love it and so do our audiences; it's an extremely unique form of entertainment and it really gets audiences excited."
There truly is no planning, as McGannon said he and Peters have to just rely on their own talent and experience to bring your request to life. While they of course know many of the songs that are requested, especially if it's a huge hit like Piano Man or Don't Stop Believing, if it's a song they're not super familiar with all they have to go off of is their iPad that has the lyrics and chords.
"It's all about the audience and we want to really continue to keep that going and sort of approach all the shows that way, where there's really no set agenda, there's no set song list, because everybody's musical tastes are so different and every show that we do is always different."
Beyond the headlining Dueling Piano Kings, the fundraiser will also have a roast beef buffet dinner, cocktails, 50/50, silent auction, and more.
As for who the fundraiser supports, Strathmore Regional Victim Services Manager Marilyn Roughley explained the money is going to a very good cause, as Strathmore Regional Victim Services helps the Strathmore, Chestermere, Langdon, and Gleichen areas in many different types of RCMP crisis calls, which can include very serious calls like domestic violence or sudden death. Strathmore Regional Victim Services is involved with around 500 cases a quarter, which adds up to around 2000 a year, and their services include but aren't limited to:
- Assisting RCMP with crisis calls.
- Staying with a victim in a time of crisis and offering resources and checking on them the day after to see how they're doing.
- Assisting a victim with court matters, which would see a court coordinator go to court with the victim and orientate them as to what happens in court and stay with the victim until the completion of the file.
Roughley explained the money goes specifically to training volunteers, as volunteers play a large role in offering the services they provide, and it takes a lot of time and resources to get a volunteer up to speed.
"There is a lot of training, we provide in-house training, the Province of Alberta has training specifically for victim services and we put all of our advocates through that training. It's about 100 hours' worth of training and then we provide extra training on top of that as well," Roughley said.
Roughley hopes to see a lot of people attend the event, as she personally is really excited to see the Dueling Piano Kings and the funds raised are going to an important cause.
"I think it's just a good collaboration to have the community understand who we are and what we do because nobody really knows what we do until they have to use us, and then they do understand the value of that. So, I just want everybody to come out and have a fun night and support your local victim services and just have some fun."
Roughley added they have partnered with Wheatland Taxi to offer heavily discounted prices after the event between 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. to make it as convenient and safe as possible to return home. The event takes place at the Strathmore Civic Centre on June 3, with cocktails starting at 5:00 p.m.
If you would like to attend, you can purchase tickets here. You can also contact Strathmore Regional Victim Services if you have any questions or are interested in becoming a sponsor at 403-934-6552, or email@example.com.
Send your news tips, story ideas, pictures, and videos to firstname.lastname@example.org