An American in Paris Orchestrates with Kurzweil

by Jacob Coakley
(L-R) Ray Wong, Henry Palkes and Brad Gardner with the Kurzweil PC3K8 Keyboard
(L-R) Ray Wong, Henry Palkes and Brad Gardner with the Kurzweil PC3K8 Keyboard

NEWBURY, CA—After a successful Broadway run, An American in Paris has started its first national tour. The classic move musical, now reborn as a modern stage production, is conducted by music director David Andrews Rogers. The musical's 13-piece orchestra plays its all-Gershwin score augmented by three Kurzweil PC3K8 keyboards using programming provided by Stuart Andrews (Keyboard Programmer) and Dave Weiser (Associate Keyboard Programmer).

More details from Kurzweiler:

"With the PC3K8s, we can augment an orchestra like this and make it sound like 30 musicians," Weiser said. "We use the Kurzweils because they're much more robust and stable than a computer-based system. And, while we do use software instruments, the Kurz is the 'brains' of the rig, handling patch changes, pedals and roughly half of the sounds. It's more reliable than software and boots up much more quickly – in about 20 seconds. Players use a switch pedal to step through hundreds of patch changes that occur every few bars including complex splits and layers as well as mapped chords. Kurzweil is the only manufacturer to provide the thousands of user slots required for our samples, programs and setups."

Weiser notes, "The Kurzweils are great for handling the custom samples we use on the big Broadway and touring shows. But the amazing quality of their internal sounds makes these keyboards indispensable for smaller clients, local/regional theater groups and schools. They can do an entire show using the on-board sounds exclusively. So we've got a solution that's both self-contained and cost-effective. And,"he added, "While the PC3K8's have done a great job for us with productions like An American in Paris, we're looking forward to offering Kurzweil's new flagship, the 'Forte', to our clients over the next year." 

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