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Queen of Ragtime to open piano series at LSC-Kingwood

Lone Star College-Kingwood’s Music Department invites the community, faculty, staff and students to its first Piano Recital Series starting this fall.

Internationally-acclaimed pianist, entertainer, and comedian Mimi Blais will appear in concert at LSC-Kingwood in the opening performance of the college's inaugural Piano Recital Series. The concert is on Friday, Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Instructional Building Recital Hall. The performance will also feature the school's recently acquired Yamaha CFX 9' grand piano.

"I can’t think of a more entertaining artist to open our inaugural piano series," said Jay Whatley, music professor at LSC-Kingwood. "Mimi can do it all. She has the technique to play the most difficult piano repertoire, and the wit to play the most fun repertoire."

Originally from Montreal, Québec, Blais has earned several nicknames during her career: “The Female Victor Borge”, “The Céline Dion of the Keyboard”, and “The French-Canadian Liberacette” but, the one she is proud to wear since 1990 is “The New Queen Of Ragtime”.

As a musical performer, composer, arranger, writer, comedian, and singer whose imagination knows no bounds, Blais is in high demand because of her tremendous talent and joyful personality. According to Whatley, words that are used to describe her performances around the world include: witty, colorful, poetic, energetic, romantic, extraordinary, and unbelievable.

"We are so excited to pair this unique artist with this unique piano," said Whatley, referring to LSC-Kingwood's Yamaha CFX 9' grand piano. "There are only a few pianos - perhaps 12 - like this in the world, and we are very fortunate to be home to the only Yamaha CFX that resides permanently in Texas."

After completing her classical training at the Quebec Conservatory of Music and McGill University in Montreal, Blais left the beaten path to discover music with a capital “M." Her career has been guided by passion and whim where classical, folk, jazz, modern, blues, tango, and ragtime all blend together. Her passion for ragtime music has led her to travel across the United States and Canada. She has also traveled to Belgium and Hungary where she received one standing ovation after another.

LSC-Kingwood’s Music Department will continue its Piano Recital Series through spring 2013, with concerts featuring performers of regional, national, and international renown - including several Houston artists - all performing in the college’s Recital Hall. The pianists will perform on the college’s Yamaha CFX 9' grand piano.

Tickets for the opening recital by Blais are $10 per person. For more information or to reserve tickets, call 281-312-1709. Proceeds from the Piano Recital Series will go toward Fine Arts scholarships for LSC-Kingwood students.

Register now for credit classes online through myLoneStar. Classes are offered days, evenings, or weekends in traditional, Internet, video, TV and independent study formats. For more information on how to register online, visit www.lonestar.edu/registration.

For general information about Lone Star College-Kingwood, call 281.312.1600 or visit http://lonestar.edu/kingwood.htm

With 75,000 students in credit classes and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area, and the fastest-growing community college system in Texas. Dr. Richard Carpenter is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, five centers, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.