Would it be jellybeans from school friends or gummy bears with The Piano Guys? I would personally choose to snack on jellybeans to pass the time. However, I would choose a free pack of gummy bears from The Piano Guys as an award and symbol of gratitude if it were the second option. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you to the jellybean givers–The Piano Guys! Though their home is in Utah, the group of four guys, which consists of a piano player, cello player, vocalist and music producer, and videographer, they enjoy passing their time traveling, performing, and apparently distributing jellybeans to their guest accompanists, one of which included Christine Lyford. As a part of the Metropolitan Area Youth Symphony, she had the chance to audition for a position as an accompanist for the accomplished group of musicians as they played at a concert at the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando, Florida. There, she and a group of seven other musicians, including her brother Mark Lyford, performed one of The Piano Guys’ songs called Beethoven’s Five Secrets. Click here to see a video of them playing:
“Energetic”–The one word Christine Lyford would use to describe The Piano Guys. This word is very much true seeing that the little group is constantly flying worldwide to perform at concerts, filming music videos, writing their music, spending time with their family, and much more. I would also add that they are very friendly. “Steven Sharp Nelson, bounced up and learned all our names… and actually remembered all of them first try,” Christine Lyford remarked. They even joked that they would give a gummy bear to the the person who kicked their neighbor most in a Lindsey Stirling fashion.
So how did this fame all start? Videographer, Paul Anderson, once started as a piano store owner; the pianist, Jon Schmidt, as an enthusiastic piano player; the cellist, Seven Nelson, as a real estate agency owner, and the vocalist and music producer, Al van der Beek, an accomplished composer. No one would have expected them to become The Piano Guys who would perform all over the United States and other foreign countries. Their journey to fame began with a piano store Paul Anderson owned that never sold a single piano. Due to his desperate need to sell pianos, he began making use of social media to hopefully increase the number of customers coming to his store known as The Piano Guys. Jon Schmidt found the store and began trying some pianos out. That started the two men’s musical careers–Schmidt performed and Anderson sold and produced the pianist’s music. Eventually, Schmidt’s long-time friend Steven Nelson joined the small group who later invited Al van der Beek.
“They were actually really good players, not just auto-tuning and everything” Christine Lyford explained. The fact that The Piano Guys are top-notch players explains their huge musical career and fame. Their superb musicianship allowed them a chance to perform at the renowned Carnegie Hall and at President Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony. Despite their fame, they insist that they are “just a bunch of ordinary ‘guys’ playing classically influenced instrumental music in videos that showcase incredible locations… There are so many coincidences that the summation of each circumstance transcends ‘happenstance.’”
Often times fame results in pride, but not for this accomplished group of men. “We do not take credit in our successes. We cannot. To do so would defy reason,” the Piano Guys all insist. They clearly all enjoy demonstrating God’s glory through their musical passion and their kindness in their giving of free gummy bears to their accompanists. Their cheerful attitude and devotion as musicians impacted me greatly, and I hope it does likewise to those who learn more about The Piano Guys.
CMUSE. “The Piano Guys Biography – Facts, Childhood & Achievements.” CMUSE, 11 Oct. 2017, www.cmuse.org/the-piano-guys-biography/.
“About.” The Piano Guys, thepianoguys.com/about/.