On the Road with Joanne Robinson: Show #227 Opelika, AL

Pianist Evan Ritter Sometimes when we’re taping a show, the totally unexpected happens, and it was one of those times this past Tuesday when we taped a show in Opelika, Alabama.

We were at the midpoint of our taping when 14-year-old pianist Evan Ritter took to the stage to play the Prokofiev’s fiery Suggestion Diabolique. He was about a third of the way through the piece and had the audience captivated when a strange buzzing noise began to emanate from the piano.

I think everyone expected the worst – that a piano string had broken – but Evan, consummate performer that he is, kept right on playing as the noise grew louder and louder.

Eventually Christopher O’Riley walked over and put his hand on Evan’s shoulder, and producer Tom Voegeli stepped in to stop the show.  To everyone’s relief, it turned out that the piano was totally intact, but a small cable that goes with the laptop Chris uses for his music had fallen into the piano! The offending cable was removed, and Evan began his piece again, playing it through to the end without a hitch. The audience erupted into applause and, in fact, gave all of the day’s performers a standing ovation at the close of the show.

I had my flipcam handy during dress rehearsal, so enjoy this montage of the wonderful performances you’ll hear when the show hits the airwaves the week of March 7th.