Welcome to Our 11th Season!
What to Expect at RPPF
At the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival we strive to understand and encourage the uniqueness of each student’s talents and career goals. Our program promotes an innovative and successful enhancement to the traditional academic school year for exceptional collegiate pianists – creating a kind of musical Turkish Bazaar, tuition-free, for everyone. Our purpose is to help participants grow and find their own distinctive niche in the world of music.
RPPF offers an exciting mixture of lessons, classes, and performances with an internationally renowned, multi-generational faculty. Students choose their own course of study, with the option to have lessons and classes with as many teachers as possible, even every day! Many will receive nearly a semester’s worth of private lessons. RPPF is a touchstone for artistic awareness and professional inspiration, truly a unique and profound experience.
RPPF is designed for serious aspiring pianists enrolled in a collegiate program. Participants must be in residence for the entire festival and must be fluent in English. No exceptions. Our official age range is 18-29. If you are younger or older and wish to apply please contact us before starting an application. If you are a teacher and would like to attend, we welcome you.
Our highly anticipated masterclasses occur almost every day (and sometimes twice on a day!), featuring each of our Artist Faculty and three student performers.
This aspect of RPPF is about carrying the light forward for piano traditions. As time advances from one century to the next, old and cherished traditions are lost while new ones arrive. Legacy classes visit with living giants of the keyboard, eminent pianists and pedagogues, who have the unique and privileged vantage point of age and wisdom. It’s an inspiring blend of performance and discussion that is not to be missed.
Special Topic Classes and Pop-Ups
These hour-long sessions explore a wide variety of topics, from specific pianistic techniques to whole-body wellness. Featured 2021 classes include:
- Motion and Emotion – Using physical motion to achieve maximum emotional expression.
- Mind & Body Tune-Up – Techniques for improved attention, memory, and stress management.
- Music of Today – Address the challenges present in deciphering and performing new music.
- Dalcroze Eurhythmics – A mini-workshop that benefits musicians, actors, athletes, and dancers by using body and voice in a more relaxed, joyful way to develop inner hearing, good timing, perception, memory, awareness, phrasing, and flow.
- Yoga – Sessions for body-mind awareness, balance, strength, and flexibility.
Other classes cover making your own interpretation, improvisation, pedaling, nuance and more! We also arrange “Pop-Up Classes” which are spontaneous events that arise out of participant needs and requests.
Students love these informal, unscripted sessions with artist faculty groups. They are designed to make us think and answer student questions on the spot.
Artist Faculty perform lecture recitals in a wide range of styles and themes.
RPPF student pianists share their gifts in multiple concerts throughout Tampa Bay, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg at many different venues – including live performances on WUSF FM radio. All participants are encouraged to participate.
2 Pianos 8 Hands
What pianos and pianists do for fun!
Our annual Piano Extravaganza features lighthearted works in a fun-filled program that everyone looks forward to year after year.
Another audience favorite: all RPPF participants perform in this thrilling musical marathon that celebrates the successful close and highlight of the season.
Facilities & Fun
The University of South Florida in Tampa is thirty minutes from the Tampa International Airport (TPA). The campus is large, beautiful, very safe, and easy to navigate on foot. Food courts, cafeterias, and excellent grocery store are on-campus within walking distance. A free bus service goes to selected off-campus locations for other excellent food options and shopping.
The Music Building is a modern and open structure with all Steinway grands and an intimate concert hall with excellent acoustics. Practice rooms are plentiful; teaching studios and classrooms are attractive and well designed.
Dorm accommodations are apartment-style: four single bedrooms share two bathrooms, a small living area, and a full kitchen. Linens are provided. Wi-Fi is free and laundry facilities are nearby.
Fun Group Excursions
Soak up the sun and relax with a fabulous tropical garden, the calm and clear Gulf of Mexico, two swimming pools, magical skies, sunset, and a scrumptious dinner.
Chihuly is an American Picasso. His colorful glass sculptures will take your breath away! Watch a live glass-blowing session after the tour.
Dolphin Luncheon Cruise
The festival highlight for many! See dolphins perform in their natural habitat and enjoy a great boat ride with tasty food and beautiful views.