Oakton Six Piano Ensemble

“Extraordinary.” “Unique.” “Innovative.”

That’s how critics describe Oakton’s Six Piano Ensemble — the only one of its kind.

Founded by Glenna Sprague, Oakton professor and coordinator of music, the Six Piano Ensemble – pianists selected through a highly competitive audition process - performs a repertoire of classical, ragtime, popular pieces, and symphonic literature transcribed for the pianos by Professor Sprague.

The Ensemble’s rich, layered sound is reminiscent of a full orchestra, and much like an orchestra, the performers take their cue from Professor Sprague, who conducts from the podium. Each plays a different part of a composition, transferring the melody from pianist to pianist. 

This unique musical group has received testimonials from musical experts and leaders throughout the country. Renowned composer Robert Vandall paid tribute to the Ensemble with his original composition, Oakton Toccata (Alfred Music Publishing Company). In addition to its popular performances, the Ensemble has released two CDs: Oakton Six Piano Ensemble: Live in Concert and Oakton Six Piano Ensemble: Live in Concert II.

To schedule a performance or learn more about auditioning, contact 847.635.1905 or gsprague@oakton.edu.

Reviews

The musical sensitivity, outstanding balance, and superb sense of ensemble displayed by the group are quite extraordinary and truly unique. The audience was charmed and educated by Professor Sprague’s brief lectures about the creation and workings of this unusual group.”

Gail Berenson
Professor Emerita of Piano
Ohio University, Athens
Past President-Music Teachers National Association

“A standing ovation from a capacity crowd…outstanding musical arrangements.” 

Linda Cockey
Professor of Music
Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland

“...precision and ensemble of the group was impeccable…a true musical performance...“

L. Lancaster
Executive Editor, Piano
Alfred Music Publishing

“Your session at the MTNA conference was most enthusiastically received by those in attendance. The Oakton Six Piano Ensemble played exceptionally musically and presented an outstanding program.”

Jane Magrath
Professor Emeritus (Piano and Piano Pedagogy)
University of Oklahoma, Norman

"...played with a wonderful sense of style and a high level of musicality and artistry..."

Ingrid Jacobson Clarfield
Professor of Piano and Coordinator of Piano Department
Westminster Choir College of Rider University

Six Piano Ensemble

Glenna Sprague, Coordinator
Six Piano Ensemble
Conductor, Founder, and Artistic Director of the Oakton Six Piano Ensemble.

Professor of Music

  • Piano Performance; Class Piano; Music Literature and History; Humanities
  • B.M. Capital University Conservatory of Music (magna cum laude)
  • M.M. Ohio University

Glenna Sprague is the coordinator and professor of music at Oakton Community College, and also teaches in the Humanities and Philosophy Department. She teaches piano performance, class piano, the Six Piano Ensemble, music literature and history, and humanities. She is also the founder, conductor and artistic director of the Oakton Six Piano Ensemble, the only group of its kind. The Oakton Six Piano Ensemble's annual campus concert at the Footlik Theater is a popular event in the Chicago area. Professor Sprague and the Ensemble have performed to sold-out audiences throughout the United States and Europe. This includes performances at the World Conference of the International Society for Music Education (ISME) at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow; International Conference of the College Music Society in Vienna, Austria;  MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) National Conference in Spokane, Washington; Atlanta, Georgia; Honolulu; Los Angeles; the Chicago Civic Opera House; and at numerous MTNA state conventions.

Professor Sprague is a magna cum laude graduate from the Conservatory of Music of Capital University. She has her M.M. in piano performance from Ohio University where she studied with Gail Berenson.

An active performer, clinician and adjudicator, she has written numerous articles for national music journals. Professor Sprague has served as a panelist for the National Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Conference, the World Piano Pedagogy Conference, the Illinois Arts Council, National Conference on Piano Pedagogy, and the Illinois Articulation Initiative Music Panel of the Illinois Board of Higher Education. She also has had articles published in national music journals including the American Music Teacher and Keyboard Companion.

Contact

gsprague@oakton.edu
847.635.1905
Office: 1360, Des Plaines

Performances and Repertoire

Upcoming Performances

Oakton's Performing Arts Center, April 25 at 8 p.m. and April 26 at 3 p.m., 2020. For information about tickets, call 847.635.1900 or purchase online. Mark your calendar!

Past Performances
The Six Piano Ensemble has performed in the Chicago area at the Civic Opera House, Navy Pier, and Harold Washington Library, and at annual standing-room-only concerts at Oakton. But the Ensemble’s artistic success has also led to prominent concert performances in more than 17 states and Europe, including:

  • International Society for Music Education (ISME) World Conference (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow)
  • College Music Society International Conference in Vienna, Austria
  • Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Conferences (Atlanta, GA and Spokane, WA)
  • National Conference on Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy (University of Oklahoma)
  • National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy (Chicago)
  • Hawaii Music Teachers Association (Honolulu) 
  • Steinway of Chicago Community Concerts Series
  • Salisbury University Cultural Events Series (MD)
  • Goshen College Piano Workshop (IN)
  • Plano Music Teachers Association (TX)
  • University of Louisiana (Lafayette)
  • Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC) State Convention (Los Angeles)
  • Numerous MTNA state conferences (FL, IL, KY, MI, MO, NC, OH, PA, VA)

  • Johann Sebastian Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067;   Concerto for Two Pianos in C Minor, BWV 1060; Keyboard Concerto No. 7 in G Minor, BWV 1058 
  • Samuel Barber: Souvenirs
  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21
  • Leonard Bernstein: Selections from Candide
  • Georges Bizet: Selections from Carmen Suite; L’Arlésienne Suite Nos.1 and.2
  • Johannes Brahms: Hungarian Dances Nos. 2 and 5;  Waltzes, Op.39
  • Muzio Clementi: Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 14, No. 3
  • Antonín Dvořák: Slavonic Dances, Op. 46, Nos. 7 and 8;  Op. 72, No. 2;  Legend in D Minor, Op. 59, No. 1; Legend in C-sharp Minor, Op. 59, No. 6
  • Duke Ellington: “Satin Doll”
  • Gabriel Fauré: Dolly Suite, Op. 56
  • George Gershwin: “Swanee;” “ Nice Work If You Can Get It”; “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”
  • George Frederic Handel: Suite for Two Keyboards
  • Franz Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 101 in D Major;  Symphony No. 94 in G Major
  • Norman Dello Joio: Five Images
  • Scott Joplin:” Maple Leaf Rag”;  “Pine Apple Rag”
  • Glenn Miller: “In the Mood”
  • Moritz Moszkowski: Spanish Dances, Op. 12; Neue Spanische Tänze in E-flat Major, Op. 65, No. 1
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550;  Sonata in D Major, K.381; Overture from The Marriage of Figaro
  • Octavio Pinto: Scenas Infantis
  • Cole Porter: “Night and Day”
  • Max Reger: Six Waltzes, Op. 22
  • Gioachino Rossini: The Barber of Seville and William Tell Overtures
  • Franz Schubert: Trois Marches Militaires, D.733;  Deux Marches Caractéristiques, D. 886; Six Polonaises, D.824
  • Dmitri Shostakovich: Concertino for Two Pianos in A Minor, Op. 94
  • John Philip Sousa: “The Stars and Stripes Forever”
  • Robert D. Vandall: Oakton Toccata

 

Audition Information

Audition for the only six piano touring group performing internationally: classical, ragtime, jazz, popular music! Thousands have heard the Ensemble – and now you have a chance to become part of it!

Audition by appointment

Interested pianists may bring a prepared piano piece, but music will be provided.

Contact Us

Glenna Sprague
847.635.1905
gsprague@oakton.edu