Halfway through their mission to play at each of the world’s seven wonders, the world-renowned The Piano Guys stopped by Shippensburg University’s Luhrs Performing Arts Center for a light-hearted concert.
The group has already posted videos of them performing on the Great Wall of China, Christ Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro, the pyramids of Chichén Itzá and most recently, the Rose City of Petra, Jordan.
The Piano Guys are a group of Mormon fathers who were thrust into the international spotlight in 2010 after their zany marketing videos became more successful than the piano business they were trying to advertise for. Their name is a misnomer — there is only one piano player in the group, while the rest sing and play other instruments.
The group’s Mormon faith plays heavily into their performance.
“It gives us a lot of kids, and it gives us a lot of ideas,” Jon Schmidt, the group’s pianist joked. “We pray a lot, and we pray a lot together. We pray before we write, we pray before we do shows, we pray when we run into problems. It really plays a big part.”
The Piano Guys’ shows are built around serene music as well as light-hearted laughter. Sometimes they play on the same instrument at once for comedic effect.
Their focus is performing their music in unique locations, as well as creating mashups of classical pieces and modern tunes, such as combining Vivaldi’s “Winter” with “Let It Go” from the Disney hit, “Frozen.”
“It has to resonate. The original tune as to resonate,” Schmidt said.
The group has a popular fan following with more than 6 million subscribers on YouTube and it likes to connect with its audiences. During the show they invited a random member of the audience who had experience in jazz improve to play next to Schmidt.
“We think of the audience as a group of single individuals together. And we try to play to single individuals,” Schmidt said.
SU Sophomore Amelia Rhoads told Schmidt after the show, “I was one of those individuals. 'A Thousand Years’ is the song I listened to when my grandmother died.”
After speaking with a few of his fans, Schmidt and the rest of The Piano Guys retired into their tour bus.
“I’m gonna go into a coma now,” a weary Schmidt joked.