TYLER — First Presbyterian Church in Tyler will host a special performance Thursday night featuring a special guest.
British pianist Tom Hicks, along with the church's music director Weston Jennings, will perform Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto.
The two are old friends who have known each other since college.
"We studied together at Yale for our masters," Hicks said. "He knew I was something of a Rachmaninoff guy and invited me here wanting to put on this sort of unusual combination of instruments to look at the Third Piano Concerto."
The piece is typically played with a full orchestra. However for this performance, Hicks will play the piano with Weston on the organ.
"It may be a common piece but certainly not in this setup with piano and organ," Hicks said. "You usually have orchestra behind you."
"I had in the back of my mind this crazy idea of being the orchestra," Weston explained. "On larger organs this is possible, and so this is what we're doing tonight. I had the idea of pairing one of my favorite piano works, that normally wouldn't be possible in this combination. And I've sort of re-imagined it, and reworked it in a way that makes it come to life in a new perspective."
Without a full orchestra behind them, this is by no means an easy performance, even for two accomplished musicians.
"There are so many very delicate spots where we need to be absolutely together," Weston explained. "There's a lot that has to go on there. There are a lot of buttons that need pushing, a lot of pedals that need pushing, and notes."
The finished product will be something both musicians believe will impact the audience.
"This piece especially - it’s a kaleidoscope of different emotional kind of qualities, different characters," Hicks explained. "I think it's very immediately relatable I think for audiences and pianists."
The performance, which is a part of the church's fine arts series, will take place at 7 p.m.