MISS AMERICA 2011 TERESA SCANLAN JOINS NOTED COMPOSER CALVIN JONES ON CD RELEASING
Dueling Pianos YouTube Video Contest Pits Scanlan Against Friend and Mentor
Dueling Pianos CD Cover
Nashville, Tenn. - Just days after passing her crown to the new Miss America at the 2012 Miss America Pageant where she was called "a Miss America for the ages" by co-host Brook Burke-Charvet, Teresa Scanlan, Miss America 2011, makes her musical recording debut today when she joins noted composer and pianist Calvin Jones on the instrumental CD, Dueling Pianos.
The project is available at retail outlets and iTunes from City of Peace Media, with distribution to Christian retailers through Provident Distribution and to the general market through Sony Music.
"With its playful point and counter-point competition, Dueling Pianos recalls the brilliance of piano greats, Ferrante & Teicher," says City of Peace Media Founder, President and CEO Yochanan Marcellino. "It is easily the best instrumental piano album I've ever heard and has all the earmarks of an Instrumental Album of the Year."
The 16-song CD kicks off with Jones playing a spirited version of the title track, "Dueling Pianos (White Water Chopped Sticks)." The music segues effortlessly into a gorgeous rendition of the classic "Carol of the Bellz (sic)," proving once and for all that carols aren't just for Christmastime.
Scanlan displays not only her piano prowess on the CD, but her silky smooth vocals on "After All," the release's only vocal offering. Scanlan also takes command of the grand piano to perform her edited pageant-version of Jones' original composition, "White Water Chopped Sticks," offering listeners the opportunity to experience the subtle, but distinct differences between the two pianists' approach to the piece. Scanlan rose to the top of the contenders after her performance of the song at the 2011 Miss America competition, claiming one of only three top talent spots for all 53 contestants.
Scanlan and Jones first met when Scanlan, vying for the Miss America title as Miss Nebraska, requested permission to perform "White Water Chopped Sticks" at the competition. Jones coached the contestant to her winning performance and the two became fast friends.
"I encouraged her to go home and practice hard — and she did!" Jones says of their first meeting.
In fact, Scanlan's resulting proficiency of Jones' "White Water Chopped Sticks" led to a friendly competition between the student and the mentor — a competition captured on video by award-winning director Dustin Marcellino (The Identical) of City of Peace Films. The "Dueling Pianos" music video, with its whimsical "anything you can do, I can do better" vibe, released immediately after Scanlan completed her reign as 2011's Miss America.
Fans are encouraged to cast their vote for the winner of this good-natured piano duel by viewing the video on YouTube and then clicking on the "Cast your vote" link.
While both Jones and Scanlan are fiercely competitive, they share an affinity for more than just the piano. Both are committed Christians who bonded over their common homeschooling background. Scanlan is the middle child of seven, all of whom were homeschooled. Jones and his wife, Rhea, have homeschooled their four children over a 15-year period.
During the year of Scanlan's Miss America reign, she invited Jones and his family to various events, furthering their friendship. The two musicians began writing songs together, which led to the idea of recording a CD. Due to the heavy schedule of appearances during her reign, Scanlan's studio time was limited, but the two are already looking towards continuing their partnership into the future. Since recording Dueling Pianos, Scanlan and Jones have continued co-writing with plans to record a second project together.
"I am so blessed to have been able to meet and work with an inspiration of mine, Calvin Jones, and I am thrilled to be debuting my first recording experience," Scanlan says. "It is such a privilege to share my music with the world and I hope to have the honor of continuing to do so for the glory of God."
Dueling Pianos is the epitome of what an instrumental, inspirational CD should be. Jones draws on the beauty of nature for inspiration on his pensive acoustic piano musings like "Sunrise," "Snow Melt" and "Beside Still Waters," and on the beauty of Scripture for such meditative numbers as "Faith and Hope" and "Solitude." There is a reverential melancholy to "Londonderry Falls," a playful meandering to his sprightly rendition of "Ode to Joy," and a warm and comforting familiarity to "Rachel's Lullaby." Dueling Pianos is a perfect selection for fans of Jim Brickman, Fernando Ortega and John Tesh.
The CD was recorded in several studios in Colorado, including FTM Studios, Colorado Sound and The Litterbox, as well as Jones' private studio. The pianists are set to begin touring in support of the CD in March throughout the United States and overseas.
For more information, visit cityofpeace.com.
About Teresa Scanlan:
Scanlan, who grew up in Gering, Neb., started taking piano lessons at 7, followed by voice lessons. At 13, Scanlan participated in her first pageant when she competed and won the Scottsbluff County Teen title. She was involved in Miss America's Outstanding Teen program for the next three years¸ as well as continuing her piano and voice lessons.
Scanlan won the local title of Miss Southeast, which advanced her to the Miss Nebraska competition two weeks following her high school graduation. She won the Miss Nebraska 2010 pageant and went on, at the age of 17, to become the youngest Miss America ever when she was crowned in the 2011 competition. Scanlan handed her crown to Miss America 2012, Laura Kaeppeler, on January 14. For more information, visit cityofpeace.com, MissAmerica.org or @TeresaScanlan.
About Calvin Jones:
Jones, the son of a minister, began playing piano as a young child in church. On his 12th birthday, Jones' sister brought home the musical classic "A Fifth of Beethoven," a disco rendition of Beethoven's 5th Symphony performed by Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band. By the time Jones had mastered the arrangement a week later, he had an innovative perspective on classical music, the beginning of what would become his piano signature. He attended college on a music scholarship, where he studied composition, and graduated with a degree in Economics.
The Colorado resident is in demand as a jingle composer, with previous clients including McDonalds, Hallmark, Promise Keepers, ATS Telecommunications and Life Athletes. He recently contributed music to the film score for Little Town of Bethlehem, directed by Jim Hanon (End of the Spear and Beyond the Gates of Splendor).
Jones has released four projects through City of Peace Media and Provident Distribution: Through High Places, Coming Home, Uncharted Waters and Acoustic Passion. Dueling Pianos is his fifth release. For more information, visit cityofpeace.com or calvinjones.com.
About City of Peace Media:
City of Peace Media was established in Nashville in 2009, with sister company City of Peace Films, by Yochanan Marcellino, founder, president and CEO.
The primary focus of the companies is to provide a framework where music, films and video with "redeeming value" can be developed, produced and distributed worldwide, bringing a message of hope, love and encouragement to this generation. For more information about City of Peace Media or City of Peace Films, visit cityofpeace.com, @copmedia or @cityofpeacefilm.
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