First Friday Concert with Dr. Duke Thompson

Former Red Deer College instructor and concert pianist Dr. Duke Thompson, on a return visit to Red Deer, will be giving a special performance Aug. 7th at the Kiwanis Gallery First Friday event.

Red Deer’s music community remembers Thompson’s many performances during his 17 years at RDC and at The Vat, of which he is still part owner.

Thompson’s concert runs in the Snell Auditorium at the downtown library.

He will play a Musical Menu Cabaret from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The adjacent Kiwanis Gallery will be open from 6 to 8 p.m. as well. Refreshments will be served. No charge, but donations are accepted.

Organizers say this performance is a rare opportunity, as Thompson now lives in

Baltimore, Maryland, where he is president of the Maryland Conservatory of Music.

Thompson is offering a Musical Menu Cabaret, where the audience gets to select what he will play. The Cabaret includes many selections from several categories:

Gershwin (Thompson’s specialization), classic rock, hybrids, blues and potpourri.

The gallery will be open for viewing of ‘Goin’ to California: My Motorcycle Diaries, Watercolours’ by Susan Barker.

Thompson founded the Maryland Conservatory of Music in 2001. He also keeps busy on other fronts, teaching, recording and performing as well. He has four CDs to his credit – Greatly Gershwin, Lots to Consider, These Hands Rock and Dr. Duke as Lincoln.

Thompson holds a doctorate degree in piano performance from Arizona State University. He taught at RDC for 17 years.

After relocating to Maryland, he’s been able over the years to share his musical gifts with a wide audience on the east coast, with performances in New York City and the Baltimore area.

Thompson was born in Edmonton but raised in Maryland. After finishing up his post-secondary studies, he learned of a teaching post at Red Deer College and took it. He thought he’d stay for a couple of years, but ended up staying for 17.

“I was in Red Deer from my 20s through to my 40s – pretty significant years of my life,” he has said. “So it’s a very special place for me, no doubt about it.”