Asheville Area Piano Forum hosts fall benefit concert Sept. 23

Press release from the Asheville Area Piano Forum:

The Asheville Area Piano Forum (AAPF) will present its 18th Fall Benefit Concert at the Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville, on Sunday, September 23rd at 3:00 PM.  With two grand pianos on the stage, an exciting variety of music is programmed (from classical and jazz favorites & even a few popular tunes performed with virtuosic flare!).  These performances will feature world-class artists & some of WNC’s premiere concert pianists, including: Deborah Belcher, Kimberly & Michelle Cann, Les Downs, Charles Harnish, Shelley Hartman, Chad Leatherman, Irem Ozay, Taylor Pierson, and Brian Turner.  Guest performers will include Franklin Keel, cellist, and the student winner of The 2018 Asheville Piano Competition, Freeman Dalton.

The AAPF is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational and charitable opportunities for WNC piano teachers, their students, and their communities.  It is well known throughout NC that Asheville has a thriving pianistic community filled with students who continuously take the top awards in state and regional competitions.

“For over 20 years, we have been dedicated to providing top-notch education and support,” says Kimberly Cann, current AAPF President.  “ Among our members are award-winning concert pianists who perform worldwide.  Although these pianists and our other members have demanding schedules, they generously donate their time and talents to support this great cause. “We have no endowment, and yet, in the past ten years alone, we have provided over $70,000 in financial assistance to deserving students in need.  In these economically difficult times, the amount of assistance requested in the past few years has doubled; every penny we raise truly counts and goes directly into our scholarship programs.”

To date, the AAPF’s biggest community outreach program is Keys for Kidz, a  group-piano class specifically for under-served children who otherwise couldn’t afford to take even one music lesson, let alone discover any talent they might have or love of music.  The program was initially funded in August of 2011 by a generous donation from the Mission Healthcare Foundation and with instruments from Piano Emporium.  Among other partnerships, the AAPF is proud to be working with the YMI Cultural Center and the Pack Library this year to enhance all of these programs and is actively seeking additional sponsors and partners to assist in this great work.  “Additionally, Keys for Kidz has served as conduit for donations of pianos; in recent years, we’ve received 10 pianos and keyboards for students, and more are coming in,” says Cann.

The Asheville Area Piano Forum is currently made up of about 100 members. Funding is provided by membership dues and through individual charitable contributions. Its educational and community outreach activities are open to the public and include 5 annual lecture/presentations with guest artists, student recitals and professional performances, master classes, informal performance groups in relaxed settings, and teacher “roundtable discussions,” where WNC teachers can exchange resources and information on how best to enhance their students’ experiences.  Opportunities also abound for amateur adult musicians of all ages and levels.

Tickets to the Benefit Concert can be purchased at or by calling the Diana Wortham Box Office at 828-257-4530.

For more information about joining the AAPF or participating in its activities, and for more information about the concert on Sept. 23, please visit, or write to Donations may be sent through the website or mailed to The Asheville Area Piano Forum, P.O. Box 1101, Asheville, NC 28802.

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