Local Julliard Music School Alumna Seeks Performance Opportunities

By Andria Barrios

It may be a surprise to discover that one of the youngest students ever accepted into Julliard Music School resides right here in Brandon. Though she was born in Oklahoma City, educated in New York City, and performed in both New York City and Colorado for several years, life has brought Lalan Parrott to the local community where she desires to continue performing piano.

“My first musical experience came when I heard a tune on the radio and subsequently played it by ear on the neighbor’s piano,” said Parrott. “This was around age three.”

Her family, raised in the Depression era, recognized her talent at a young age and she was instructed by a local piano teacher who, after years of study, arranged a Julliard audition. The school then had a committee who frequently travelled across the country in order to recognize talent in faraway regions. When they came to Parrott’s town and heard her performance, they accepted the young student at the age of 17 in 1947.

At Julliard, Parrott sat under many teachers from the famous Olfa Samaroff to Rosina Lhevinne. In 1953, she graduated with a Master’s to pursue a career as a concert pianist. Playing for Radio City Music Hall was her first gig, including playing for the Rockettes’ rehearsals. Parrott’s impressive New York career lasted over 60 years. Then, because of her passion for the Midwest, she relocated to Colorado where she formed a chamber music society called the “Roaring Fork Chamber Players.”

Many other renowned concerts and collaborations even led her to perform for President Carter at the White House in 1980, and again at the U.S. Capitol in 1990. Throughout her career, Parrott performed at the 1988 Olympic games in Seoul, Korea, played for Broadway, as well as worked for various ballet companies. She also played in jingles and worked on film soundtracks.

The musician enjoys her life outside of music including her family of two children and seven grandchildren, jogging and outdoor activities. With the Brandon area as her current home, Parrott is eager to continue playing any genre of music for local functions and parties.

“She is starving for opportunities to play,” said Rebecca Douglas, daughter-in-law.

To arrange this or to inquire about taking advanced private lessons from Parrott, contact giftofpiano@aol.com.