In addition to contests & workshops,
there are many other fun events during the weekend
All events are family-friendly!
→See Schedule page for prices & order details
THURSDAY, MAY 23
The Tune-ups Party – 7:00 pm
The Tune-ups Party kicks off the weekend’s activities as contestants and guests arrive in Oxford. Shuttle service from the Hampton Inn is available to and from the Chancellor’s House on the Square. Parking is available on the Square or across University Ave. in the Bank parking lot. Food and drink is available for purchase. Renew friendships and discover new friends as performers try out their selections for the weekend contests.
FRIDAY, MAY 24
UM Blues Archive Tour – 10:00 am
Curator Greg Johnson will guide you through some rarities and gems from the nationally-recognized UM Blues Archive and point out some connections with native Mississippi pianists from the day. *Free admission. Take the hotel shuttle from the Hampton Inn West at 9:30 am. Visitors wishing to take their own vehicles may park on campus free after 5 pm Friday. Parking passes available for Friday parking available in hotel lobby this morning only.
UM Art Museum Guided Tour – 1:15 pm
Join us at the UM Museum of Art after lunch for a guided tour by curator Robert Saarnio. Museum exhibits include a collection of 19th century scientific instruments; Greek and Roman antiquities; American art; and a folk art collection. The current featured exhibition features “Meditations on the Landscape in Art and Literature.” The UM Museum is located only a short walk from the Music Building on University Ave. *Free Admission courtesy of the Art Museum.
Workshop with William McNally – 3:00 pm – “Contemporary Approaches to Ragtime Composition from 1960 to the Present”
Two-time Champion William McNally explores the latest trends in ragtime composition from the 1960’s to today.
Workshop with Terry Waldo – 4:00 pm
– “Exploring the works of Eubie Blake”
Guest clinician and judge Terry Waldo presents a lecture presentation on the works of Eubie Blake in Nutt Auditorium. Terry Waldo is considered one of America’s premier performers and presenters of Ragtime and Early Jazz. Known for his virtuoso ragtime and stride piano playing, charming vocals, and disarming wit, he is the protégé of the legendary Eubie Blake, who called Waldo “an extension of my own musical self.” *sponsored by UM Lecture Series
New Rag Contest – 6:00 pm
The annual New Rag Contest fills up quickly every year. Listen to pianists from across the country premiere their original compositions and compete for the New Rag trophy and cash prize.
Ragfest & Duet Contest – 8:00 pm
An evening of non-stop piano playing incorporating the impromptu Duet Contest at the Chancellor’s House. Enjoy your favorite drink while you listen to all your favorites. Bar menu available.
SATURDAY, MAY 25
Junior Division Contest – 9:00 am
Competitors ages 17-and-under from around the country travel to Oxford to vie for the crown of Junior Champion.
Silent Movie Luncheon – 11:45 am
Enjoy a box lunch within the confines of the Music Building inbetween the morning and afternoon Preliminary Rounds with guest artist Adam Swanson providing live accompaniment to a couple of classic silent films, the way it was done before “talkies” became the norm.
Regular & Senior Division Preliminary Round – 1:00 pm
Competitors ages eighteen-and-up compete to make it into the semifinal round on Sunday. Learn more about each contestant before they perform as emcees Ted Lemen and Adam Swanson conduct interviews with each performer.
Dinner with the Guest Artists – 6:30 pm
Our three guest artists perform for you during a buffet dinner at the Chancellor’s House at the conclusion of Saturday’s contest and before the Sing-along. Take in the amazing talent of Terry Waldo, Bill Perry, Jr. & Julia McClarey while you dine, and stay for the Sing-along afterwards.
Old-Time Sing-along – 8:00 pm
A favorite of many, the Old-Time Sing-along just got bigger and better! Ted Lemen leads the audience in spirited renditions of some of the all-time favorite tunes from days gone by. All the lyrics are up on the big screen in case you forget some! Stay a bit later to listen to many of the performers take their turns at the piano.
SUNDAY, MAY 26
Workshop with Adam Swanson – 9:00 am
– “Ragtime in Hollywood”
Contest guest artist and MC Adam Swanson offers a first-of-its-kind symposium about the Golden Age of Hollywood’s fascination with the ragtime era. Musical stars like Mae West, Alice Faye, Judy Garland, Doris Day, and more sang numerous ragtime songs in their movies—and audiences loved it for decades! Experience once more the uplifting songs and beautiful stars of the past you thought had been forgotten, many in glorious Technicolor. Each film clip will be illuminated by Adam’s historical commentary on the ragtime-era origins of the songs and the stars who performed them in the movies. *sponsored by UM Lecture Series
Sunday Worship Service – 10:55 am
Looking for an opportunity to attend church on Sunday morning? Join us at Oxford University Methodist Church just down the street from the Music Building for an “old-time” worship service featuring music from Julia McClarey, Adam Swanson & Bill Edwards. Click on the link for directions or take the shuttle from the hotel.
Semi-finals & Finals – 1:00 pm
The top 10 Regular Division entrants compete in the semi-final round. The field is narrowed down to the top 5 who vie for the crown of 2019 Champion. The Senior Division final also occurs this afternoon.
Southern Cuisine Dinner – 6:30 pm
Enjoy some fine southern cooking at Chancellor’s House after the champions have been crowned. Stay for the Red, White & Blue Farewell Party as we honor those who served in song. MENU
Red, White & Blue Farewell Party – 8:00 pm
It’s sad, but this will be the final time to celebrate with friends before the long journey home. Come out to the Chancellor’s House on the Oxford Square and celebrate the service and music of the army, navy, air force, marines and coast guard on this special weekend. If you were in the service, stand up and be recognized for your contribution! Enjoy one last chance to take in the awesome talent arrayed under one roof! *FREE Admission for veterans!