Almost every student in the Butler Piano Studio studies and performs a piano concerto. As most students know, this requires the purchase of two music scores and the willingness to understand the accompaniment and orchestral score and, to that end, work many extra hours with an accompanist. Most concerti are studied for competition purposes and/or performance with orchestra. A concerto is required in the national finals of CMC and is, usually, the ideal repertoire choice for the provincial and national finals leading from most festival competitions.
The performance of a concerto in any competition requires the highest performance standard. Frequently because of poor accompaniments and lack of rehearsal time, many performances are found wanting. Securing a professional accompanist is never easy, let alone finding convenient rehearsal times, a place to rehearse and times when the accompanist can come to lessons. It is always problematic and rarely successful. Most concerti are the better part of a half-hour in length and have always required a number of extra lessons beyond those regularly scheduled. This, coupled with the cost of professional accompanists (on average $45/hr), can lead to an expensive situation and an often a stressful situation.
In the past, because of performance and adjudication demands, Dr. Butler has been unable to assist his students at festival and competition times. The fiscal year, 2006-2007 was the first opportunity that he had to assist students and the collaborative results were overwhelmingly successful. There were no rehearsal worries, no performance quality concerns, no lesson scheduling problems or the like. As a result, the following policy for this studio has been adopted:
There is an annual concerto accompanying fee of $500, payable on or before the second Friday of June of each fiscal year. This fee will cover Dr. Butlerís preparation of the accompaniment of one movement(s )of a concerto and all rehearsals throughout the fiscal year. A completely additional concerto would cost $250. Performances are the icing on the cake as the bulk of the work is in the preparation and rehearsals. As a bonus, and if Dr. Butler is available, there will be no extra charges to any student in this studio for accompanying concerti in performances in the city of Windsor. Should a performance be scheduled and extenuating circumstances cause Dr. Butler to cancel, the student(s) would have to hire, at their own expense, an accompanist for that performance(s) or cancel the performance(s). Should extenuating circumstances cause the student to cancel, the performance(s) would be cancelled. The undertaking of the rehearsing/performance of any concerto is a collaborative effort and, therefore, a professional obligation on the part of all involved. Accordingly, when a student wishes to study and/or perform a concerto or movements of a concerto, it must be given first priority and thoroughly and completely prepared by the end of November of each fiscal year. Regrettably, there can be no cancellations of the project once it is undertaken and there will be no refunds of fees. This studio is unable to provide assistance for concerto accompaniments for out-of-Windsor performances. Most intermediate to advanced students in the studio are assigned a concerto. If it is the wish of parents or students to not study a concerto, simply inform Dr. Butler by the second Friday in June.