In 2016, the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest moved south to it’s new home in Oxford, Mississippi, the birthplace of Nobel prize-winning author William Faulkner. Often touted as the “cultural Mecca of the South,” Oxford attracts many artists, musicians and writers from across the country, some of whom choose to remain as a permanent fixture in our community.
Located approximately 75 miles south of Memphis, TN, Oxford offers something for everyone interested in a culturally diverse experience. The charming Square hosts many boutiques, fine restaurants, galleries and bookstores as well as the oldest department store in the South. The average daily temperature in late May is usually in the low 80’s. For information on Oxford historic sites, restaurants, shopping and lodging, Visit Oxford
Competition & Festival Venue
The University of Mississippi, affectionately known as “Ole Miss,” was founded in 1838 and is considered one of the most beautiful campuses in the U.S. Most events will take place in the UM Music Building located on the corner of University Ave. (exit off Hwy. 7) and Old Taylor Road (exit off Hwy. 6). Signs guiding you to the venue will be visible from Hwy. 6 and nearing campus on University Ave.
Registration and parking passes will be available inside the main entrance of the Music Building. Dealer rooms, presentations & workshops, practice facilities and the competitions will all take place here. Located inside the Music Building, Nutt Auditorium will be the site for the competitions and guest artist events. This concert hall houses two 9′ Steinway grand pianos and has a seating capacity of 380 persons. Nutt Auditorium and the Music Building are ADA certified for handicapped persons.
The official contest hotel will be:
Holiday Inn Express & Suites
112 Heritage Drive
Oxford, MS 38655
A block of guest rooms are available through April 26, 2017 after which time any remaining rooms will be released for the general public. Confirmed reservations are subject to a 48 hour cancellation policy. Guests will be responsible for the first night’s rate on ALL rooms not cancelled 48 hours prior to arrival. Room rate is $99 + tax. Guests must call the hotel to receive the discounted rate. Please mention “Piano World Championship” when making your reservations to receive the discounted rate.
The hotel shuttle bus will depart the Holiday Inn for the Music Building at 8:15 am on both Saturday and Sunday mornings for your convenience. The shuttle is scheduled to pick up patrons at the Music Building at 5 pm and take passengers to the Oxford University Club on the Square, or back to your hotel, as you wish. Otherwise, the shuttle is available on call for all hotel guests every day beginning at 5 pm.
Traveling to Oxford
If traveling by car, Oxford is located 25 miles east of Batesville, MS off I-55 by divided highway. The first Oxford exit will be the exit for the Holiday Inn. If driving west to Oxford, take Hwy. 278 (Birmingham to Memphis Interstate) to Hwy. 6 West.
The closest airports to Oxford are located in Tupelo, MS (approximately 45 minutes) and Memphis, TN (approx. 75 min.). All major car rental agencies are available at the Memphis International Airport.
University of Mississippi Department of Music
University of Mississippi Blues Archive
Center for the Study of Southern Culture
Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts
Yoknapatawpha Arts Council
Oxford Film Festival
Double-decker Arts Festival
Within Easy Driving Distance of Oxford
Mississippi Blues Trail
Delta Blues Museum, Clarksdale, MS
B.B. King Museum, Indianola, MS
Elvis Presley Birth Place, Tupelo, MS
Graceland, Memphis, TN
Memphis Music Hall of Fame