Thursday, September 11, 2014

Help the Collaborative Pianist Guild Become a Professional Advocacy Group for our Profession

Although collaborative pianists are known for their ability to work with others, as a group they can often be marginalized and sometimes have difficulty identifying with a professional organization.

The Collaborative Pianist Guild aims to change all that. Starting off as an accompanist directory, they eventually plan to become a full-fledged advocacy group for the entire profession. With that purpose in mind, CPG President Susan Brown and VP Rachel Fogarty have created a Rockethub campaign in a bid to raise $5,000. Here's the statement from their Rockethub page:

The Collaborative Pianist Guild is a professional organization designed to help pianists reach their full potential as collaborators. Our organization provides opportunities for members to learn new skills (hosting relevant conferences and workshops) and helps improve existing abilities so our members will be better equipped to serve our musical community. The CPG promotes our art through mentoring budding pianists, educating the public and other musicians about the value of collaboration in music, and promoting high standards of artistry among our colleagues.

Meeting our goals requires a platform - an interactive website with a searchable database of collaborative pianists for other musicians and a job opportunities page and other resources for our members. This website will be a launching pad for future plans - master classes, concerts, competitions, and annual job placement auditions connecting members with schools, companies, art organizations, and with individuals needing a pianist.

There are professional organizations for composers, organists, choirs, conductors, and many other types of musicians. But our research indicates that no organization on this scale exists for collaborative pianists in the United States. This is a distinct opportunity to be part of something entirely new.

This is where you come in. We need your help raising money to fund the website. Any amount is welcome. 100% goes to support the cost of the website.

We offer some exceptional perks for different levels of giving: a new work written especially for you for an ensemble of your choice, a house concert in your living room, a lesson with one of the top collaborative pianists in the field, and discounted memberships!! These are the immediate reasons for you to support our cause, but there are many more. Just a note about how this works. RocketHub is not an investment or charity. It is an exchange: funds from supporters for goods from us. In other words, if we don't reach our financial goal we get to keep what we raise.
Come on collaborative pianists - we constantly complain about being marginalized in the profession. This is a chance to create a professional organization that will create some long-term positive change for those who practice our craft.

You can also find more information at their Fractured Atlas funding page and website. More updates to come.


  1. I have to say that as a pianist who specializes in lieder and chamber music and who coaches singers, I do not like the term "collaborative pianist". It is just a polite way to avoid saying "accompanist". For my advanced dwgrees I picked the music and performers for my degree recitals and paid them to participate. I agree that we marginalize our own careers by thinking we are not musicians equal to the people we perform with. I would support a group to redefine oue role as specialists in certain repertoire.

    1. I agree completely WDH. The issue is that the accompanying/collaborative piano/piano in ensemble community still in the process of finding itself as a profession and sorely needs a national advocacy org.

  2. Anonymous9:47 PM

    This seems like a great idea and helpful to the profession. Curious if the plan is to form local chapters down the road or will it be centralized as an online resource. Will follow the link and read more about it!

    1. Anon, I'm thinking the same thing. Thanks for the comment!

    2. Dear Anonymous,

      The plan is to start out with a central chapter in the New York City area and expand nationally as interest provides the members. Just last week the Guild had 5 membership requests in different areas of the United States and in Mexico.

      We think that, once the word gets out, the Guild will grow quickly. We want to ensure that we will have a system set up through the website to accomodate the growth. We are trying to be forward thinking and do what's best for the pianists.

      Thank you for your comments!

      Susan Brown

  3. It sounds like a innovative and interesting plan, I am interested to find out how it will work out.