Pianist Alpin Hong performs for Marquette elementary students

Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 3:52 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The sounds of a piano rang loud at Kaufman Auditorium on Friday morning.

Students from the Sandy Knoll and Graveraet schools were treated to an electric performance by Alpin Hong, a professional pianist. Hong says this performance was a way to demonstrate a new side of piano music to children.

“I think that the way a lot of young people will encounter piano is either on the radio played quietly so that they can nap. But to hear it at its full power, with all the incredible range of emotions and sounds that can come out of it that for young people I think is a transformative experience that I hope to give for them,” Hong said.

This isn’t the first time Hong has visited the Upper Peninsula. He visited years ago and planned to come back sooner but was delayed due to the pandemic. Now with the virus more under control, Hong said he came back for a special reason.

“Finally, after four years, I am back in Marquette to inaugurate this incredible, incredible legacy instrument. It is one of the greatest pianos in the country, it is so responsive,” he said.

The piano in the auditorium is a 1925 Steinway. It was restored in 2020, and it took $54,000 to repair. Kaufman Auditorium Director Lantz Whitfield said it was a long time coming for Hong to inaugurate the piano, and students were excited to come out Friday.

“So, the kids just loved it, (Thursday) we were at Bothwell Middle School for assemblies there and Superior Hills and Cherry Creek. He’s just been great, and you can hear it the kids just love him,” Whitfield said.

That passion was also shared by Hong himself. He says the city of Marquette is someplace special.

“I love the culture here in Marquette, I think the spirit of the and energy of the university, the fact that it’s very progressive and a very accepting city that makes it one of those places and I always joke to my wife and I’m half-joking that I would love to buy a house up here,” Hong said.

Hong has one more performance at Kaufman Auditorium on Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m. and tickets are $10.

Go here to get your tickets for the performance.

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