Tuesday, June 7, 2011
By UST Music
In February, piano students of Dr. Vanessa Cornett-Murtada presented a concert, “Freak Piano Blowout: A Celebration of Contemporary Music for Solo Piano,” featuring works by composers Albright, Cage, Cowell, Crumb, Hindemith, Muczynski, Rzewski and the fictitious P.D.Q. Bach. Some of the compositions featured avant-garde musical techniques such as palm and forearm tone clusters, strumming and plucking the piano strings and the use of overtones. The more traditional pieces featured polytonality, minimalism, pointillism, chance and satire. The concert was featured in TommieMedia: http://www.tommiemedia.com/diversions/freak-piano-blowout-concert-puts-new-spin-on-piano-pieces/.
Taylor Bakken, Sean Barker, Meghan Garcia, Lisa Hager, Kelli Hudson (piano students) and Megan Pleviak (organ student) all performed undergraduate degree recitals. Raluca Boac, a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Music Education (piano pedagogy concentration) degree program, was featured as a soloist with the Festival Orchestra, where she performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Caroline Miesle and Kate McNulty, graduate students in the Master of Arts in Music Education (choral concentration) degree program, performed a joint piano recital. Students enrolled in the Piano Ensembles and Accompanying Ensembles also gave public performances, as did a number of students enrolled in piano lessons for elective credit under Professor Ora Itkin.
The Organ Artist Series featured a guest performance by Russian artist Konstantin Volostnov in March as part of the Sacred Arts Festival. Guest artist Dr. Brian Luckner also presented an organ recital in May. This year the Keyboard Area hosted a number of music organizations and activities on campus, including the Music Teachers National Association performance competitions, the National Music Certificate Programs piano and theory exams and Thursday Musical competitions.
The annual Summer Workshops in Piano Pedagogy will be held Aug. 8-12, 2011. This week of workshop sessions by nationally renowned presenters will include special guests Bruce Berr, Melody Bober, Katherine Faricy, Andrew Hisey, Michelle Sisler and Scott McBride Smith. Workshop topics include etudes, pedaling, studio technology, composition, performance anxiety management, student-teaching demonstrations and others. Workshop schedule and information is available online: http://www.stthomas.edu/music/keyboard/schedule/default.html.