While at Church Sunday, I was watching the Kids Program on one of those rare Sundays when I had nothing to do but run a camera, and then only if a good shot presented itself. I had the opportunity to sit behind the accompanist for the program. My daughter Juli. Now, she has been playing for the choir I direct for a long time now and also for the church as the organist, and it never ceases to amaze me how someone can look at a brand new piece of difficult music and simply tranfer what they see into the proper finger movements. And thus this 'new' music, to the pianist, sounds as the person who wrote it intended it to sound. But more than being a good music 'leader' when playing hymns for a chuch congregation she has a much greater talent. She stays with whom ever is singing, no matter the mistakes they make. Sunday, the first soloist was incredibly soft, a little girl, and I had no idea that the piano could be played that softly.
Juli plays the piano as though she isn't the show. She knows her place when she accompany's a singer and yet she is very capable of becoming the show if asked to do so.
I've heard countless timing errors made by soloists, or mistakes, that only a few in the audience could have noticed. The recovery by the piano was instant.
I remember telling Juli, when she was young, that she should try to learn to do something, anything, better than almost anyone else can do it. She has. I've been told over and over again by soloists, "man did your daughter ever save me on that solo".
I am sure there are better piano players out there, but if you're in need of accompaniment, Juli's as good as the best. She has raised the bar.