Alum Plays Piano for THE Piano Man!
Former Tyler Hill camper, Michael Pollack, had the opportunity of a lifetime and a dream come true. Playing piano for the Piano Man himself – BILLY JOEL!
Michael is from Roslyn, NY where he lives with his mom Stacy, father Steven, and sister Alexa and dog Roxy. He’s a pianist/singer/songwriter, and recently signed with BMI as a songwriting affiliate. Currently, Michael attends Vanderbilt University as a freshman. Michael went to Tyler Hill for 8 summers and was Color War captain twice. Michael performed in many of our camp talent shows and played “Fix You” by Coldplay on his last night of camp during his last summer with us during closing ceremonies. He was truly Tyler Hill’s very own “Piano Man!”
“I decided I was going to see Billy Joel right when we found out he was coming, and as a childhood idol of mine, right away I knew what I wanted to do when we went there. My roommate and I decided that we would try and find a way to get a question to be asked, and see if we could get on stage.
And the day came, I put together a question, and I was raising my hand, and my friends to the right of me kept pointing to me, and finally after a few questions he picked on me and I hesitantly said how “New York State of Mind” was my favorite song, and how I had performed it with his saxophonist Richie Cannata in the past and wondered if I could go up and play it with him. And then he thought for a little — he took a second — and then he just said “Okay.” which wasn’t quite convincing, but it was good enough.
I walked up, we spoke about the arrangement for about 15 seconds — he just went through what he wanted me to play — and then from there, it was just … foggy. It’s hard to remember. I just started playing. Once I started playing and I saw him leaning on the piano, I was just taken aback. I kept trying to kick myself and realize what moment I was in, because I’ve been a huge Billy Joel fan since I started playing music. He’s one of my biggest inspirations, he’s the reason I started writing and playing.
I kind of lost myself playing. Then afterward he said to me … he said that I was great, where are you from … and I said, “I’m a Long Islander just like you.” He was like, “Cool.” Then I walked off, and that was it … It was probably the greatest moment of my life, up to date… Truly a dream come true…”
Kudos to our very own THCer Michael!!! Check out the video to see how AMAZING he is!!!! 🙂 and all the latest buzzzzz about this spectacular performance!
MARCH 14th, 2013 UPDATE:
Michael’s video has been blowing up! He’s been featured on websites like PerezHilton, New York Daily News, HuffingtonPost, CBS News, npr.org, USA Today, and The Hollywood Reporter, as well as scoring an interview on the TODAY Show! Check out the video below: