Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention!

Posted by: rysowers

Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/18/11 10:29 PM

Whew! What a whirlwind of a week! Jean and I arrived in Kansas City on Sunday afternoon. Most mornings I was down in the lobby by 6:30 am (4:30 AM my time!) getting ready for the day: changing signs, making sure the rooms were ready for the instructors etc.

After 9 days we just arrived home a couple of hours ago. I'm exhausted but my mind has been churning with so all the ideas and information that I was immersed in.

It was great to see many old friends and familiar faces: even Jerry's! grin The only bummer was that being on the conference team didn't allow me to visit with people as much as I like. On the other hand, since I am Institute Director for next year's conference in Bellevue, WA I was able to connect of many of the instructors: Frank Emerson from Hailun, David Kirkland from Steinway, Bernhard Stopper, Roger Jolly, Don Mannino, Rick Baldassin, Norbert Abel, Michael Spreeman from Ravenscroft, to name a few. I felt I was walking amongst giants!

It was especially exciting to be there to congratulate Patrick on passing his last exam to become the only RPT in Finland! CONGRATULATIONS!!! thumb It was also wonderful to witness the friendship that developed between Bernhard Stopper, and Patrick.

Ron Berry started a page on the PTG website to start posting some pictures and highlights. It is at: http://convention.ptg.org/news/

For those who were not able to attend, I hope you will seriously consider coming to the conference next summer in Bellevue, Washington. I will do my best to put on a program that will be stimulating, challenging, and rewarding. Updates will follow...

I hope others will post their favorite things about the conference. Also feel free to post things that you thought could be better!
Posted by: Les Koltvedt

Re: Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/18/11 10:53 PM

Ryan, I'm bummed I missed meeting you... I had a great time. My mind is still swimming...
Posted by: rysowers

Re: Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/19/11 11:15 AM

I know what you mean! I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to meet you too! We'll have to make it happen next year. By the way, could you send me a picture of you so I make sure I've got the right face with your name?

Glad you had a good time! I'm hoping next year will be even better!
Posted by: Zeno Wood

Re: Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/19/11 11:37 AM

Ryan, thanks for the report. See you next year!
Posted by: James Carney

Re: Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/19/11 11:42 AM

Hey Zeno, should we drive to the conference next year? crazy
Posted by: rysowers

Re: Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/19/11 01:58 PM

Better yet, walk! According to Google Maps it will only take 37 days 10 hours to walk the 2800 odd miles to Seattle from New York. Just be careful, the walking routes produced by Google Maps are still in beta...
Posted by: Zeno Wood

Re: Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/19/11 03:08 PM

Biking would be better, but I'll be flying, along with the family. We have some non-piano friends (yes, really!) out there we'll be staying with.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/19/11 04:20 PM

Hey Ryan, you STILL OWE ME A BEER! frown Meany! My avatar really does look like me when I fluff out my ears doesn't it???? LOL! smile

Patrick, it was great meeting you too! Congrats on passing the technical and becoming an RPT. Good job!

Twas great seeing you again too Ryan., now you owe me TWO beers for cheating me out of one this year. Ahhh, nooo, I don't want to hear your excuses.... smile Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, "I was busy!" cry

The classes were pretty good. I always love the business classes. I loved Jack Wyatt's business class. He asked everyone in the class including me, "what is the greatest hindrance to you making more money." My answer was, all of the technicians in this room and elsewhere that are afraid to and refuse to raise their rates to get paid what they should be paid. "Amen, Amen Amen!" He said. I laughed. He's still a feisty guy. If someone said "ummmmm" to one of his questions, he just said "thank you!" and moved onto the next person. Great class.

Loved Dale Probst classes too. He inserts a bunch of humor in his classes keeping us all laughing. Sure gets hard to stay awake after a while though.

Of course, Don Mannino always has great classes!

My biggest problem overall, was trying to decide which ones to attend!



Posted by: pppat

Re: Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/19/11 05:34 PM

Jerry: I recognized you from that avatar, that must count for something grin

Ryan: thank you, you did a great job! I've only been to two conventions so far, but I liked the setting in KC. I learned so much during these days.

It feels so good to have passed the tech exam. Tuning has been my stronger leg, and I feel I could have done so much better on the tech part if I had more time, but then again that's part of the idea - the exam has to be about time limits, too. I didn't get to be picky about the regulation, just had to throw as much as possible into place, re-check the most crucial ones, cross my fingers, and hope for the best smile

If people here are interested, I'll write a "tech exam diary" to match my tuning exam dito.

And just as you said, Ryan, I immediately connected with Bernhard. He turned out not only to be a very good tuner (as expected) but a great person, too. Sometimes I feel like we older guys (that would be 25+) shouldn't write on the net at all. My kids know how to make sure that their intent is instantly recognized in the forums. Maybe next convention will have a class helping us along? smile

Bernhard made just cause for everything he's passionate about, and I have to admit that there's a beauty to his method. I've been skeptical to the width of his mid-range, but when I played the S&S he tuned I realized that I have played many wider mid-ranges in concert over the years. It is quite different to lean back and listen, with all the bias you carry with you, and to play and listen acoustically.

His beat masking really works, and gives a pure sound that is special. One can like it or have concerns about it, but Bernhard definitely makes a most valid case. I also picked up a lot from his unison tuning, his hammer technique, and his overall craftsmanship.

That saturday was great - StopperStimmung in the morning, then EBVT III in the afternoon. I was particularly excited to see how Bill used his ETD, and to watch his phenomenal hammer technique. There couldn't be a better confirmation of the "don't dwell" idea. He moves fast, in multiple passes, closer every time, and ends with a beautiful tuning. I played the EBVT III, too, and I love the spicy flavor of it.

Oh, and later in the evening we all had barbecue, the real thing - the crown of the day smile
Posted by: pppat

Re: Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/19/11 05:57 PM

Oh, by the way, the Yamaha 37 steps class was phenomenal! We even cut the break in half and carried on 30 minutes later, because us in the audience wanted as much time as possible with these guys.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/19/11 08:26 PM

Ya? And I'm a cute lil devil too ain't I Patrick????? grin
Posted by: rocket88

Re: Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/19/11 08:31 PM

For all us non-tuners, I hope you folks realize how important you are, and how grateful us players are for all you do!
Posted by: Sparky McBiff

Re: Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/19/11 09:49 PM

Originally Posted By: rocket88
For all us non-tuners, I hope you folks realize how important you are, and how grateful us players are for all you do!


+1 thumb
Posted by: Piano World

Re: Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/19/11 10:01 PM

Thanks for the reports folks, keep them coming.

Pictures and stories are always welcomed.

Kathy has been trying to get me out to Washington for a while now.
We just might join you next year. Would love to explore the state, then take the coast highway down through CA.

Piano Party anyone?
Posted by: Thomas Dowell

Re: Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/20/11 12:06 AM

Looking back at the convention, one of the highlights was on the first day, Fred Sturm's class on "From the Point of View of the Pianist", because I do not consider myself a piano player of any note, and sometimes have trouble viewing and hearing things from a "musical" stand point. The key lesson that I think I will draw from the several voicing classes I attended is not to focus on tone color, but rather on dynamic range, and clarity. The piano will have its own color. Voicing should be an attempt to maximise the colors in between.

I also really enjoyed Bernhard Stopper's class, as well as Bill Bremmer's class on EBVT III.

Great convention!
Posted by: Mark R.

Re: Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/20/11 05:03 AM

Originally Posted By: pppat
If people here are interested, I'll write a "tech exam diary" to match my tuning exam dito.


Yes, please!!! smile
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/20/11 10:11 AM

There were many highlights in Kansas City, i could not participate to all, some of them for me:

- Meeting friends, Kent Swafford (who did a great job supporting my class), David Andersen (awesome classes about tuning and voicing), Phil Bondi, Bill Bremmer (attended his class and actually like his EBVTIII as a variation!). Found a new one with Patrick Wingren, congratulation for passing the PTG exam! There is a composition of Patrick on youtube, of outstanding beauty for me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-z-hME7WK8

- Saturday night i had the honour getting invited by Micheal Spreeman and David Andersen, where we went down to the closed and already half packed exhibit hall to play Michaels Ravenscroft 220 there. I have never played on a piano like this, it was by FAR the very best piano i ever heard. Pianists out there, grab this number, before someone else did!

- Demonstrating my temperament sequence to Mr. Coleman Sr. (Me: "Sorry for this uncomfortable thing that is required to tune the duodecime at the beginning" Mr. Coleman: " Oh, it doesn´t matter, you know, i like such things...")

- A honour and highlight for me, that the institute team repeated my class on saturday, thank you Marc Poulin!

Bernhard Stopper
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/20/11 10:37 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark R.
Originally Posted By: pppat
If people here are interested, I'll write a "tech exam diary" to match my tuning exam dito.


Yes, please!!! smile


Hi Patrick~

Please include me, too. Congratulations on passing the complete RPT!! Great news.

Glen
Posted by: apple*

Re: Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/20/11 11:30 AM

"interesting" - Michaels Ravenscroft 220 piano... This is the 2nd time I've heard that this is a fantastic piano.. (For the life of me I can't remember who mentioned it to me just recently).

edit: I think it was the guy from Topeka ( a top tech) who must have gone to the convention and then commented.

I am not a tech but would have fully enjoyed that convention. I do recognize Kent Swafford.. I must have seen him around town??? He does just live blocks from me (I live on Midland Drive).

Any way, thanks for posting.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/20/11 11:58 AM

Maybe I should have posted this here instead of at the other place so i will. I actually wound up taking in these 3 classes that Ryan posted in another thread listed above.

45 Ways to Make Your Business More Successful by the PTG Economic Affairs Committee: Dozens of tips you can start using right away to get more clients, build your reputation, and boost your income!

Cash is King! by Bruce Genck: A fast-paced information packed class presented by a 30-year professional.

Point Blank Business Plus Plus by Jack Wyatt: This is an updated version of Jacks famous and popular business class. Jack has definitely been an inspiration to me over the years! Much income is left unearned for services that pianos desperately need. By not pointing this out, we do our customers, our profession, and ourselves a great disservice.

I just couldn't get out of bed for Dale's class on piano pricing.... I planned on attending but was just to darn tired so I slept in that day.... But, the other 3 were fantastic!
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: Highlights from Kansas City PTG Convention! - 07/20/11 11:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Bernhard Stopper
There were many highlights in Kansas City, i could not participate to all, some of them for me:

- Meeting friends, Kent Swafford (who did a great job supporting my class), David Andersen (awesome classes about tuning and voicing), Phil Bondi, Bill Bremmer (attended his class and actually like his EBVTIII as a variation!). Found a new one with Patrick Wingren, congratulation for passing the PTG exam! There is a composition of Patrick on youtube, of outstanding beauty for me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-z-hME7WK8

- Saturday night i had the honour getting invited by Micheal Spreeman and David Andersen, where we went down to the closed and already half packed exhibit hall to play Michaels Ravenscroft 220 there. I have never played on a piano like this, it was by FAR the very best piano i ever heard. Pianists out there, grab this number, before someone else did!

- Demonstrating my temperament sequence to Mr. Coleman Sr. (Me: "Sorry for this uncomfortable thing that is required to tune the duodecime at the beginning" Mr. Coleman: " Oh, it doesn´t matter, you know, i like such things...")

- A honour and highlight for me, that the institute team repeated my class on saturday, thank you Marc Poulin!

Bernhard Stopper


I would have to say that the highlight of the convention for me was to see that Bernhard Stopper and Patrick Wingren saw eye to eye and made friends. Another highlight was dinner with Bernhard Stopper. Lunch with Patick Wingren was great too!

I attended Bernhard's class which I found enlightening and seemed to have many very focused attendees. Ditto David Anderson. Jim Coleman Sr. and Jack Stebbins' classes confirmed to me that we were all on the same page about many things but we all had a different emphasis.

It was very important for me to know that four people had passed their tuning exams using the ET via Marpurg as Patrick had last year and each had superior scores in Temperament!

The Golden Hammer Award winner was a surprise but went to yet another of my mentors (mostly for Tuning Exam administration skills but also for help in the development of a concise and correct wording for the aural instructions for the EBVT and EBVT III). A power house tuner, second to none who also ran PTG as Vice President and President, certainly deserved that award! He has always provided friendly help and advice to me when I asked for it and needed it.

It was also really great to see 8 new RPTs recognized at the banquet. One of those, a technician from Japan, passed his technical exam to become a new RPT. I had tutored him at the convention in Grand Rapids where he had gone on to pass the tuning exam. There have been many others, all of whom I taught not to "count" beats but to compare them.

The opening ceremony was a highlight to learn of all those who had won awards. 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 year members were honored as well as instructors and examiners. The party afterwards had great food and music and provided a chance to meet friends.

The final banquet was great too. The food was top notch, especially considering how many people were served. There were many great speeches and it was followed by the Kawai concert on what I consider to be the world's most powerful concert grand piano.

The Sunday morning departure for me was also a highlight in that Bernhard Stopper saw me off. Next year's convention will be a short distance from Grandpianoman's residence. Perhaps Bernhard and I can go there afterwards and each of us make recordings in our own preferred tuning style.