The Soul of the Piano in the American Spirit

In this presentation McNeill uses the piano to trace changes in the American national character through a variety of songs from the 19th century to the present. He celebrates the time when the piano was once the hub and hearth of the middle class home. Punctuating each musical selection with a brief introduction, he weaves an impressionistic story of piano music in American life and highlighting how the music reveals the social fabric of the day.  Furthermore, he demonstrates particular features of the piano that make it the most beloved of all musical instruments. McNeill’s presentation transports listeners from bygone eras into the present by evoking images of specific physical settings and revealing the social history of America through words and melodies.