- The heretofore unknown link between the San Diego State University music faculty and Radio City Music Hall's celebrated hoofers, the Rockettes, is Conrad Bruderer.
The mild-mannered piano professor, who spends most of his time teaching the finer points of interpreting Beethoven sonatas, is rounding up 88 pianists to perform with the Rockettes in the Jan. 31 Super Bowl half-time show at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium.
Patterned after the Gershwin extravaganza seen in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic festivities, 88 pianos will be placed on the field in the shape of a grand piano. While the college-age keyboard wizards play the opening cascade from Grieg's Piano Concerto and a boogie-woogie number, 88 Rockette legs will prance atop the specially constructed Kimball pianos.
"Usually there are only 36 members of the Rockettes," Bruderer said, "but they've enlarged the ensemble to 44 for this event." Although the half-time show's format is still taking shape, Bruderer said that he did expect Chubby Checker to appear in this keyboard spectacle.
Auditions will be held at the SDSU music building on Dec. 5 and 6. Pianists must be 18 years of age and in good physical condition. Three pieces are required: the first 15 seconds of Grieg's Piano Concerto, a boogie-woogie number and a popular work of the musician's own choice.