Education Week – 2014
Things get pretty crazy around our house about the third week in August each year as my long-time friend, pianist Marvin Goldstein, arrives a couple of days early for BYU’s Education Week, moves into our guest room, and we start preparing for the four classes we present in the DeJong Concert Hall each year. This has been our ritual for over a decade. His living in Florida isn’t really conducive to our practicing and planning together ahead of time but he’s a pretty spontaneous guy anyway, and somehow it all works out. He also brings his singer with whom he does other classes, Vanessa Joy, and this place sounds like a piano practice hall all week!
Marvin is half Victor Borge and half Liberace and the Ed Week audiences love him, pure and simple. During my part of our class I roast Marvin with material I have collected for years, and the attendees love that too. I love doing it and I think it is part of keeping the hall filled each year. We do sessions about the charm of children’s music, finding and developing new talents, songs from my latest album (new words to old tunes) and the lighter side of music. One day I had the audience sing along on a medley of six of my Primary songs, which seems to bring the spirit instantly. In Marvin’s part he plays gorgeous piano medleys of these same songs. I brought singers in from my most recent album (Tammy Robinson and Keith Evans) and they worked their magic on the audience nicely.
For the talents section I bravely stood out at the front of stage–a place I never like to be–and sang “Livin’ My Dream” a light-hearted song about having the courage to do the things your heart yearns to do. Marvin and I sprinkled some of our sessions with comedic new words to Primary songs. We feel that the mixture of humor and touching music is a magical combination.
We just pulled out all the stops in our last session on the lighter side of music, doing mostly lighter (and sometimes silly) music but ending with something spiritual and memorable. Marvin is one of greatest entertainers I know and though I roast him mercilessly, I love and admire him, and am honored to perform with him. So far they keep inviting us back . . .