2011: Toy Toy Toy!

Thanks to everyone for submitting this year!

Winner: Rusty Banks Babbling Tower-to-Tower for toy piano and cell phones
Most Ingenious Combo Award: James Joslin Fur Enola for toy piano and jack-in-the-box

Honorable Mentions:
Dante De Silva Scratch Record for 2 toy pianos, toy glockenspiel and toy percussion
Naftali Schindler Norfolk in Summer for toy piano and melodica

One of the most intriguing, puzzling and problematic issues many people have grappled with concerning the toy piano is the fact that it is called a “toy.”  After reflecting upon the many kinds of toys there are from play dolls to board games, stuffed animals, bee bee guns, box cars, train sets and toy instruments, one may realize that there is a toy version of everything in life. In different cultures, toys are realized in different forms, sometimes in much more remedial ways than the mass-produced commercial colorful toys we have in this country.( Toys could be anything…I remember my nephew visiting a park and finding bark on trees to be the most interesting thing to play with.) Either way, toys are objects that then have another function; They become an invitation to a make-believe world, whether it be for children or adults. I have found that the toy piano has also inspired that level of “play” and “fantasy” for many musicians today.

The theme for the 4th UnCaged Toy Piano is Toy Toy Toy! Music for Toy Piano and Toy Instrument(s).  Here are the rules for this year’s competition:

1. Pieces written for toy piano and any toy instrument is strongly encouraged, but must be able to be played by a solo performer. Some of these toy instruments include (but are not limited to) melodica,toy drums, toy cymbals, toy gongs, two toy pianos, toy xylophone, or toy handbells.
2. Electronics is optional, but must work for a Mac OS X with an Intel processor
3. Pieces can be of any length
4. Pieces for solo toy piano are also acceptable

The UnCaged Toy Piano is open to composers of all ages and nationalities.

Phyllis Chen, Margaret Leng Tan, Angelica Negron

Unlike previous UnCaged Competition performances, the winning works this year will be performed at our 1st  UnCaged Toy Piano FESTIVAL scheduled to take place in the Fall of 2011, New York City. The top selection will be awarded an honorarium of $800. Aside from this top prize, other winning works will be chosen to be performed as part of the festival and each composer will receive a studio recording of his/her piece. For the UnCaged Toy Piano Festival, other artists, musicians, composers, improvisers from New York and abroad will be joining in the Toy Toy Toy festivities!

For all scores that are sent to UnCaged Toy Piano, a copy of your score will also be sent to the Toy Piano Collection located at UC San Diego Geisel Library. In May of 2001, the Library of Congress issued a subject heading and call number for toy piano scores because of the activities  at the library. Even if your piece is not chosen for the festival, we hope that your piece finds its rightful performer by being placed in an organized catalog of toy piano music.

For your submission, you may either  EMAIL your score, mp3(if available), short bio, and contact information to chenphyllis@yahoo.com. Or MAIL to:

P.O. BOX 2341

Deadline: July 15, 2011 (results announced August 15)