Amateur Pianists Meetups

San Diego, CA – You don’t need to be on America’s Got Talent to show off your musical skills. You can probably find a local Meetup group that share your love of music with like-minded and talented musicians from different backgrounds and levels of experience. Amateur Pianists is one such group that invites different levels of talent to share their passion for piano music in San Diego, California.

Founded in 2011 by Glenn Kramer, who is currently the organization’s chairman and a piano aficionado for more than 37 years, AmateurPianists will be hosting several events in San Diego County during the Christmas season, including one on December 6 in Carlsbad, California. “The piano will be available to any of our members who wish to entertain!” Glenn Kramer said in an online interview with BindleSnitch. “We have aprogram highlighted by featured pianist Paul Romero, saxophonist Brock Summers, soprano Marina Martin, tenor Joseph Almohaya, and pianists Naomi Hobbs and myself.”

Kramer started playing the piano at age seven, having heard his 9-year-old cousin Nicole played on his parents’ spinet piano. “I was hooked. My piano teacher, who was (and still is) great friends with my parents, lived only two houses down the street. It was a perfect environment for me.”

He came up with the idea for the group while preparing to tutor one of his piano students. “I clearly remember when I had the ‘eureka moment’,” Mr. Kramer reflected. “I was anticipating arriving early to teach a piano lesson to a gifted young student, so I pulled off the road and parked along the curb in a residential neighborhood to relax and let some time pass. Two thoughts simultaneously coalesced to spark the idea to form a piano organization. In the past, I was invited to play a recital at a friend’s home. We did this a few times over the course of several years. I thought it would be wonderful to create a public recital series for pianists who wish to perform in front of an audience. In an unrelated matter, I recently joined a website called Meetup.com, which allows anyone to create member-based events.”

“I thought to myself, ‘Why not create a meetup for piano recitals?’ That night, I searched online for a piano group in San Diego and noticed that none existed. After mulling over the idea for a few days, I decided to jump forward and make it happen.”

This year, AmateurPianists had hosted various performances , including a “Composers of Latin Descent” recital, an “Open Piano” night at the San Diego Repertory Theatre, a presentation on Schumann by George Fee, a celebration of Women Composers, and a recital and masterclass by award-winning pianist Thomas Maurice. In the three years since the organization was founded, they have had 38 events, including recitals, masterclasses, and lectures. More than 200 pianists have performed, from all skill levels and all walks of life,”  Kramer noted.

Besides the Carlsbad event on December 6, Kramer mentioned two upcoming events in early 2015. “On January 9, AmateurPianists will play in the ‘Surround Event’ at the San Diego Repertory Theatre where we get to hear a more popular song-based repertoire than the normally classical-driven program. On January 16, we are partnering with Roosevelt Middle School to provide a lecture-performance program called ‘Time Travel through Classical Music.’ Finally, on February 15 we are presenting a recital featuring Jeremias Mameghani, winner of several amateur piano competitions, who is visiting from Germany to make his second San Diego performance with AmateurPianists.”

With almost 500 members currently, AmateurPianists in San Diego represent the largest piano-based Meetup group in the U.S. with New York coming in second and Chicago in third. “I hope our nonprofit organization continues to broaden our reach and to provide performance and education opportunities for piano enthusiasts,” Mr. Kramer said. “Our next goal is to create an international piano competition for outstanding amateur pianists in San Diego. We would be honored to join a small but esteemed community of amateur competitions such as those found in Paris, Washington D.C., Fort Worth, Colorado Springs, New York City, and others. And we celebrate the holidays with food, wine, and music, and everyone is invited!”

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