FOSTER — Jennifer Griffith looks for 41 of her piano students to seize the opportunity to perform on the Maier Foundation Performance Hall stage inside Charleston’s Clay Center in April.
“The students are excited and I’m excited for them,” she said. “They work very hard and this provides them a wonderful opportunity to perform in a beautiful venue.”
For 19 years, Griffith has taught in the area and each year the spring recital — which follows a Christmas recital — is scheduled at various venues, which have included the University of Charleston, local churches and others.
“Today I have 44 students, and that tells me that parents are excited to get students involved in the arts and music — and I see that in our community growing and that makes me happy,” she said. “I enjoy seeing students perform in piano or any other instrument or form of the arts.”
Griffith said she was continually looking to take her students to a larger venue.
“I just kept looking for a bigger venue and something different that we hadn’t experienced before and the Clay Center just seemed logical,” she added. “This is a free event that I do and the parents aren’t charged a thing. I’ve been very lucky to have local venues work with us.”
Griffith expressed a personal fondness for this particular venue.
“I’ve been going there for years and that all ties into my passion for the arts,” she said. “To be able to secure the Clay Center and know my kids will perform there is just the best feeling in the world. I am so proud of them.”
The student performers range in age from pre-k to adult, and the theme for 2020 is “Welcome to the Movies.”
“We are calling it a red carpet event because they get to walk a red carpet across the stage to perform, so this is a big deal for them,” she added.
Vocalist Lee Dean will be on hand as a guest performer along with Scott High School students Faith Cooper and Cadee Mae Green, who are both members of Boone County Stage, with Autumn Gillispie and her father Randy Gillispie also slated to sing.
“Those students will perform a hit movie song for the audience,” she said. “They will perform at different times during the recital.”
Plans are in the works for guest speakers to address attendees and performers, but those names aren’t yet confirmed for the date.
Griffith said each student will play two songs. Pre-k through fifth-grade students will play a hymn and a movie song, and middle school through adult students will play two movie songs.
“I want to thank everyone for their support through the years as our recitals have been successes and we want to continue to grow,” she said.
The recital will take place at 2 p.m. on April 26 in the Maier Foundation Performance Hall at the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences in Charleston. Entry for the show will be on the Walker Theater side of the building, not the main entrance. The only charge will be $3 for parking.
For questions or inquiries into available slots for students, visit “Jennifer’s Piano” on Facebook or call 304-767-9813.