2015 KeysFest

The Gilmore KeysFest is an annual day-long festival for piano students in the greater Battle Creek and Kalamazoo areas. Students of all skill levels ages 8-17 perform in a master class environment with a small audience of supportive students and adults. They receive one-on-one instruction from professional pianists and educators.

The 2015 KeysFest is scheduled for Saturday, February 21, 2015 at the Epic Center (359 S Kalamazoo Mall in Kalamazoo) from 9 AM – 6 PM.

Street parking and ramp parking are available downtown.

Special guest: Kris Bowers

Kris Bowers

Kris Bowers, a contemporary jazz pianist and composer and one of NPR’s breakout artists of 2014, will provide a workshop for the students of KeysFest on Saturday, February 21 from 1:15 until 2:15 PM at the Wellspring Theater. This workshop is open to the public; KeysFest students who are interested in participating in the workshop should provide their information in the interest form below.

Kris Bowers workshop participation form

Student registration

Registration is open now. You can register using the online form below, or mail the printable form with a check payable to The Gilmore.

KeysFest 2015 online registration form
KeysFest 2015 printable registration form

• All students ages 8-17 who are currently studying piano may enter.
• Parents must have the signed permission of their piano teacher.
• Students must bring one original copy of the music, with measures numbered. Photocopied music will only be accepted if the music is out of print.

• Students should choose one selection, with the help of their teacher, and prepare it for performance. Beginning students may play two pieces, not to exceed 1.5 minutes.
• Students should be very comfortable performing the piece and starting at various spots in the piece.
• Piano selections do not need to be memorized; however, they should be well-prepared.

KeysFest is fun for all who attend. Families of students, parents curious about KeysFest for their kids, and music-loving members of the public are all welcome to watch KeysFest performances for free. Marshall Music will bring display of sheet music for students to peruse and purchase. Light snacks and beverages will be available, courtesy of Earth Fare, Irving’s Market and Deli, and Water Street.


This year’s KeysFest clinicians include Helen Marlais, Susan Osborn, Christopher Harding, Giuseppe Lupis, and Lori Sims. For a brief bio of each clinician, refer to the PDF below.

KeysFest 2015 Clinicians

Constructive learning opportunity

What makes KeysFest so unique is the extraordinary opportunity for young students to experience a master class. This focused, intense instruction by university professors is rarely available to students prior to their college and university level of piano study. Presented in a reassuring and positive environment, students benefit from the immediate affirmation of their skills and musicianship.

Guest clinicians also perform in recital for students, family and the general public during the day-long event. Students pay a nominal admission to participate. Audience members may attend the recitals and sit in on master classes free of charge.

Contact information

Questions may be directed to Adam Schumaker, Director of Education, at 269.342.1166 x3125 or via email.


All content © 2015 Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival