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By Sara Seidel
Special to the Richmond News
One of the world’s foremost ragtime/boogie-woogie pianists is bringing his talents to the historic Farris Theatre this month.
Bob Milne, who’s been called a national treasure, will appear at the Richmond venue Saturday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m. as part of the fifth Farris Concert Season.
“Ragtime is a combination of good and enjoyable music,” Milne said. “It originated in little towns like Richmond, not from ivory towers.”
Milne says the audience will hear not only a lot of piano playing, but also explanations of the pieces he performs.
“Much of ragtime piano came from saloons and dives, so it has interesting history,” Milne said.
Milne’s repertoire includes lilting ragtime, reverent gospel, rousing boogie-woogie and heartfelt blues.
He has produced 11 solo piano recordings and composed piano rags, a ragtime waltz, a trumpet concerto, a flute suite and a violin suite.
He’s scheduled to be filmed and interviewed for the CBS Sunday morning show.
Milne says he’s traveled to Missouri “probably about 100 times” to play in towns including Blackwater, Sedalia, Owensville, Jefferson City and Columbia. He’s coming to Richmond after he completes a six-week stint teaching and performing in Florida.
Milne, who holds a music degree in French horn but taught himself to play piano, has appeared in bars, clubs, vintage opera houses and large concert halls all over the world. Just as he enjoys playing for those audiences, he says he’s eager to meet and perform for the audience at the Farris.
“Y’all come,” he said. “Prepare to have a good time.”
Individual tickets for the show are $12 in advance and $14 at the door.
To reserve seats, contact Farris executive director Lesley Green at 816-776-6684 or log on to www.farristheatre.com
Major support for the season comes from Shirkey Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Sponsors include the Ray County Community Arts Association, the Richmond Rotary Club, C&C Discount Drug, Community Bank of Missouri, Richard Bidding/Edward Jones, Mike and Vickie McCalley, Tom Bowman and Sara Seidel, Billie Hamann, Harry Ritchie, The Richmond News, The Lawson Review, the Richmond Super 8 Hotel, Taber Printing, and KMZU 100.7 and KRLI.
Gospel singer/songwriter Don Francisco rounds out the concert season with his appearance Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m.