Schwob vocalists bring home top awards at state competition

ATHENS, Ga. Six voice students from the Columbus State University Schwob School of Music received top awards at the National Association of Teachers of Singing state-level student auditions at the University of Georgia on Oct. 27-28.

NATS is a nonprofit organization regarded as the largest professional association for voice teachers around the world. It has more than 7,000 members across the United States and almost 30 other countries. The purpose of the organization is to “encourage the highest standards of the vocal art and of ethical principles in the teaching of singing; and to promote vocal education and research at all levels, both for the enrichment of the general public and for the professional advancement of the talented.”

The Schwob School of Music winners were:

  • 1st Place: Mary Lee Turner, Second Year College Women, student of Michelle DeBruyn
  • 2nd Place: Kara Hammonds, First Year College Women, student of Kimberly Cone
  • 2nd Place: Madeleine Munro, Advanced Women, student of Michelle DeBruyn
  • 3rd Place: Brielle Sims, Fourth and Fifth Year College Women, student of Dian Lawler-Johnson
  • 3rd Place: Casey Sargent, First Year Musical Theatre College Women, student of Kimberly Cone
  • 3rd Place: Katherine Ambrester, Fourth and Fifth Year College Women, student of Michelle DeBruyn
Learn more »
Comments Off on Schwob vocalists bring home top awards at state competition

CSU Alumna to Debut in Leading Role with The Metropolitan Opera

Maureen McKay performing as Gretel at the Portland Opera. Photography by Cory Weaver.

Maureen McKay, alumna of Columbus State University, will make her debut at The Metropolitan Opera on December 28 in the leading role of Gretel in Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel.

“The Met is the pinnacle opera house in the world. It is like winning a gold medal in the Olympics,” said Joseph Golden, CSU director of opera and McKay’s former professor. “She has joined the first rank of opera singers in the world.”

McKay credits her professors and experience at CSU with helping her to achieve the high honor.

She says that CSU provided her with the musical, dancing and acting skills needed to excel in today’s world of opera, and she recognizes the program’s unique offering of real world experiences like singing with a live orchestra and working with guest directors from other institutions.

“At CSU, I received four years of quality stage time with an orchestra and extensive attention from my teachers. You just don’t find that in every undergrad program,” said McKay.

Among the professors that McKay recognizes as influential on her career are Betty Anne Diaz and Joseph Golden.

“Mr. Golden took a lot of care in coaching me on how to sing with an orchestra and conductor, what repertoire to consider and the fundamentals of stage deportment,” said McKay. “Mrs. Diaz was my piano teacher and worked closely with me on honing the skills of the art song recital from both sides of the keyboard.”

Shirley Brumbaugh, who is now retired from teaching, also stands out as a mentor to McKay. Brumbaugh encouraged McKay to participate in summer activities like study abroad trips and performing in the College Light Opera Company in Massachusetts, which McKay says helped her discover a career in opera.  McKay also credits Brumbaugh with helping her build the foundation of her vocal technique.

“I feel really blessed that I had all of these people who saw something in me, even when I didn’t see it in myself,” said McKay. “When I inevitably go into teaching, I will pull from these experiences. They are the teachers that I would want to be.”

McKay says that she would eventually like to teach, but she is currently focusing on her upcoming performances. Although she is not ready to enter academia just yet, she is already inspiring others with her accomplishments.

“Schwob School of Music students are already saying, ‘Gee! If she can do it, then I can too!” said Golden. “They see that someone who walked these halls has gone on to the ultimate place in their career.”

McKay lives with her husband and fellow CSU alumni, Jesse Tennyson, and their son in Greenwich, Conn. She has performed internationally with the Choirs and Orchestras of Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova and of Santa Cecilia in Rome, Komische Oper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Saito Kinen Festival, The Cleveland Orchestra, San Diego Opera, Washington National Opera and Seattle Opera.

Learn more »
Comments Off on CSU Alumna to Debut in Leading Role with The Metropolitan Opera

Columbus State University Hosts 850 International Musicians

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Eight hundred fifty guests of Columbus State University who are members of the International Double Reed Society (IDRS) bid farewell Thursday night during the Final Gala Orchestral Concert, the conclusion of the society’s five-day conference hosted in downtown Columbus.

The IDRS is a worldwide organization of double reed musicians, instrument manufacturers and enthusiasts. This was the society’s first-ever gathering in Georgia. Previous conference locales included Tokyo, New York University and Birmingham Conservatoire, England.

The IDRS Conference brought nearly 850 visitors to CSU’s RiverPark campus, including 650 guests in hotels around town. It was one more example of CSU’s profound economic impact on its local community.

Last month, a study conducted by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia estimated CSU’s regional economic impact is $263.5 million. A 2015 study by CSU professor Ben Blair, the Sarah T. Butler Distinguished University Chair in Business and Finance and director of the Butler Center for Business and Economic Research in CSU’s Turner College of Business, estimated the economic impact of CSU’s RiverPark campus alone is $21 million annually.

“We’re all proud of the facilities we call home in the RiverCenter and the Saunders Center for Music Studies,” said Scott Harris, director of CSU’s Schwob School of Music. “With great faculty and staff members and a vibrant city surrounding our RiverPark campus, it’s a real treat to share those resources and put them on display, as it were, for an international audience.”

The conference, which began Sunday, June 26, served as an opportunity for the world’s best oboe and bassoon players to showcase their talents in a series of public performances. It was also an excellent opportunity for CSU’s double reed graduate students and student volunteers to gain experience running an international conference, Harris said.

For more information about the IDRS Conference, visit music.columbusstate.edu/idrs.

###

Learn more »
Comments Off on Columbus State University Hosts 850 International Musicians

Alumna Stars Opposite Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack

Cell PosterCOLUMBUS, Ga. — A mysterious smartphone signal mutates users into killing machines, and Columbus State University alumna Erin Elizabeth Burns’ character is caught in the zombie-apocalypse fray.

Her rescuers: actors John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson in this summer’s science fiction horror, “Cell.”

The ’04 voice graduate and former Miss CSU showcases her silver screen chops Friday, July 8, in the Stephen King thriller, which will also show on Amazon Video, iTunes and On Demand.

Burns’ road to cinema success started at CSU’s Schwob School of Music where she studied voice. She followed up this talent by studying acting at the Maggie Flanigan Studio in New York City.

Today, she constantly applies the undergraduate skills developed at CSU on film and TV projects. And before the sci-fi flick debuts, the always-on-the-move actress gives her alma mater the inside scoop about becoming part of “Cell” and its A-list cast and crew:

Q: What character do you play in ‘Cell?’

A: I play Denise — without giving too much plot away. John’s and Sam’s characters find me in the woods surviving from the phoners attacks on the human race.

Q: How did you land this summer thriller?

A: I did a taped audition. The casting director didn’t even see it initially. They sent a few girls to the producers for the callback, and the producers said, ‘Nope. Start Over.’ Casting went back through their auditions, found mine, sent it to producers, and the rest is history. I was the only actress called back for the role. It was kinda surreal. Oh! And I showed up with broken ribs, but that’s another story.

Q: And this film looks physically and mentally taxing. How did you prepare for the part of Denise?

A: After I booked it, I did coaching sessions with my coach in Los Angeles, Victor Villar-Hauser. We’d worked together at the studio in New York City where I trained. He is my go-to coach for any big roles that come up.

Q: How is this role different from others you have played on film?

A: It’s different in every way. I typically get cast as the ‘sweet, girl-next-door assistant.’ Denise is a badass, rifle-carrying, tough girl who also happens to be six months pregnant in the story. These are the roles that I crave.

Q: Well, we have our popcorn ready. So what’s next on acting fronts?

A: I’ll be working on a show on the IFC network next. Currently, I’m on Season 1 of ‘Satisfaction’ on USA. I have a Web series on YouTube called ‘The Adventures of Lizzy Belch,’ and you can see me from afar in the latest ‘Divergent’ film, ‘Allegiant.’

Q: As you know, CSU is now part of the Georgia Film Academy, which is a statewide effort to train Georgians for jobs in the film industry. Why is a program like this one crucial for CSU students entering the entertainment business?

A: Training is everything. Some productions are still bringing crewmembers from Los Angeles to work here in Georgia because — until now — we haven’t had the training for those positions. We have to build an infrastructure of both experienced crew and actors if we’re going to be seen as the ‘go-to place’ for film/TV production in the United States.

Q: Lastly, what advice can you give current CSU students and graduates working hard to break into the film and TV industry?

A: Work your butt off; get on any and every set you can; and talk less, listen more. For actors specifically, 2.5 percent of actors make their living doing this, so if you’re pursuing acting to become famous, you’re living in a fantasy world. It’s one of the most challenging fields to get into with daily rejection. That said: If you’re passionate about acting and can’t see yourself doing anything else with your life, by all means dive in headfirst. Also, create your own content. Buy a camera and some lights, and start writing the roles you want to play. Don’t wait for someone to give you an opportunity. Create it yourself. Just do it.

###

For more of Burns:
 www icon  imdb icon  instagram icon  twitter  facebook

Learn more »

Comments Off on Alumna Stars Opposite Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack

Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music to Host PianoMania

Piano

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University’s PianoMania concert promises to engage and educate piano enthusiasts of all ages in an exciting exhibition of CSU’s best student pianists from the Joyce and Henry Schwob School of Music.

PianoMania is scheduled for Sunday, May 1 at 4 p.m. in Legacy Hall at RiverCenter for the Performing Arts in downtown Columbus. Admission is $25 per person.

Concert-goers will witness students give up their serious studies to delight in a more fun repertoire on four Steinway concert grand pianos with professor Alexander Kobrin, CSU’s L. Rexford Whiddon distinguished chair in piano.

“This is a day when my students and I let loose and have fun,” said Kobrin. “Young pianists are encouraged to attend with their families. We are looking forward to sharing many ensembles with music lovers.”

Widely acclaimed as a performer, Kobrin’s teaching has also been an inspiration to many students through his passion for music. An annual celebration guided by the vision and support of Marjorie Newman, PianoMania is a presentation of CSU’s Jack and JoRhee Pezold Division of Keyboard Studies.

Concert attendees will experience an intriguing selection of ensemble piano performances by Schwob School of Music piano students and special guest performers, including CSU professors Sergiu Schwartz and Boris Abramov.

Tickets are available online at www.rivercenter.org and at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts box office.

A conservatory within a public university, the Schwob School of Music is a community of artists committed to the highest standards of artistry and integrity within a selective and nurturing learning environment. The Schwob School’s dedicated faculty of teaching artists embrace creative approaches to best practices in education and provide a professionally focused experience preparing individuals to become leaders in the music field.

For more information about PianoMania, visit www.music.columbusstate.edu or contact Scott Harris, director of CSU’s Schwob School of Music, at 706-507-8419.

###

Learn more »
Comments Off on Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music to Host PianoMania

Kaleidoscope Concert Showcases Every Instrument from the Schwob School of Music

Music

COLUMBUS, Ga. — More than 230 students from Columbus State University’s Joyce and Henry Schwob School of Music will take center stage, left stage, right stage and even the balconies of the Bill Heard Theatre Saturday night for Kaleidoscope, a 70-minute, full-spectrum musical performance featuring instrumentals, vocal ensembles, chamber music and individual performances.

“Kaleidoscope showcases the artistry of all our students in one fast-paced evening,” said Scott Harris, director of CSU’s Schwob School of Music. “In little more than an hour you’ll experience a veritable world tour through music. The music making is thrilling, varied, uplifting – we promise to send you away with a song in your heart, a bounce in your step, and gratitude for the talent these young musicians bring to Columbus.”

This year, Kaleidoscope will conclude a week’s worth of activities celebrating CSU and the inauguration of President Chris Markwood. Markwood will be formally installed as CSU’s fifth president by the chancellor of the University System of Georgia onThursday, March 31. For more information about the president’s inauguration week, visit https://our5thpresident.columbusstate.edu/.

The Kaleidoscope Concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 2 in the Bill Heard Theatre at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts in downtown Columbus. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased from the RiverCenter Box Office.

CSU’s Schwob School of Music is a community of artists committed to the highest standards of artistry and integrity within a selective and nurturing learning environment. The school’s dedicated faculty of teaching artists embrace creative approaches to best practices in education, and provide a professionally focused experience preparing individuals to become leaders in the music field.

For more information about Kaleidoscope, visit www.music.columbusstate.edu or contact Scott Harris, director of the Schwob School of Music, at 706-507-8419.

###

Learn more »
Comments Off on Kaleidoscope Concert Showcases Every Instrument from the Schwob School of Music

Alexander Kobrin Faculty Recital Set for March 24

Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music announces Alexander Kobrin in concert, presented by The Jack and JoRhee Pezold Division of Keyboard Studies

KobrinCOLUMBUS, Ga. — Music lovers are invited on an exciting journey into the deep psychological world of three Viennese Titans – Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms and Franz Schubert – featuring Alexander Kobrin on piano. Kobrin’s concert is scheduled for Thursday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Legacy Hall at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts in downtown Columbus. Admission is free.

Called the “Van Cliburn of today” by BBC, Kobrin is at the forefront of today’s performing musicians. The New York Times and others have praised his prize-winning performances for their brilliant technique, musicality and emotional engagement with the audience.

Though widely acclaimed as a performer, Kobrin’s teaching has been an inspiration to many students because of his passion for music. In 2010, Kobrin was named the L. Rexford Whiddon Distinguished Chair in Piano for the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University.

“We are thrilled at the opportunity for the local community to hear a world renowned pianist like Alex,” said Jack Pezold, CEO of Pezold Companies and chair of the Schwob School Board of Advisors. “We will also feature him, along with his students, in our April concert at the new Steinway Hall in New York.” CSU’s Schwob School of Music is an All-Steinway School.

A school of music within a public university, the Schwob School is a community of musicians committed to the highest standards of artistry and integrity within a selective and nurturing learning environment. The Schwob School of Music’s dedicated faculty of teaching artists embrace creative approaches to best practices in education, and provide a professionally focused experience preparing individuals to become leaders in the music field.

For more information about Alexander Kobrin’s recital, visit https://music.columbusstate.edu/ or contact Scott Harris at 706-507-8419.

###

 

Learn more »
Comments Off on Alexander Kobrin Faculty Recital Set for March 24

CSU Students Organizing Instrument “Petting Zoo” for Children With Autism

InstrumentCOLUMBUS, Ga. — As part of Autism Awareness Month, a group of Columbus State University students is organizing a “Sensory-Friendly Musical Instrument Petting Zoo” for children with autism and their families.

Featuring an array of band and orchestra instruments, the free event will take place Saturday, April 18 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room 1716 of the Saunders Center for Music Studies, home to CSU’s Schwob School of Music in the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts.

Many people with autism are sensitive to loud noises and crowded places, sometimes making it impossible for them or their families to enjoy everyday activities such as going to movies or concerts. This “sensory-friendly” event is a way for the children to see how the instruments work and feel, and allow them to play at a volume that is comfortable for them.

The event is being organized by the “Spectrum Music Group,” five members of a CSU Group Communications class; members of National Association for Music Educators – collegiate (C-NAfME); and Schwob Music Preparatory Division.

The students hope to see a rise in community involvement as it comes to the area of children with autism. The Spectrum Music Group partnered with CSU’s Schwob Music Preparatory Division for the class project. The students hope the Instrument Petting Zoo will be repeated as a Group Communications class project in years to come.

For more information about this event, call CSU’s Schwob Music Prep offices at 706-641-5124.

###

Learn more »
Comments Off on CSU Students Organizing Instrument “Petting Zoo” for Children With Autism

Boston Symphony Orchestra Trombonist Credits Schwob School of Music in New Album

Schwob01COLUMBUS, Ga. — A new solo album released by Boston Symphony Orchestra bass trombonist James Markey prominently credits Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music for its contributions in performance, production and engineering.

Recorded in the RiverCenter’s Legacy Hall in March 2014, trombone professor Bradley Palmer served as producer for the album “Psychedelia” with partner and music technology professor Matt McCabe, who led the engineering.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my experience working and recording at Columbus State University,” Markey said. “Dr. Bradley Palmer is both a fine record producer and a very fine teacher who has developed the trombone studio into a deep and fine ensemble.”

Schwob02Six members of the CSU Trombone Studio joined Markey as performers on one track conducted by Palmer, and McCabe’s students were credited for their assistance in the recording process.

“The opportunity to collaborate with the best of the best is really significant for us and our students,” Palmer said. “It shines a wonderful spotlight on the Schwob School of Music – our students, our faculty, and our facilities.”

The Schwob School of Music can expect Markey to return to Legacy Hall.

“Legacy Hall at Columbus State is a wonderful hall in which to perform and record, providing a rich, warm and vibrant sound,” Markey said. “I very much look forward to future collaborations both with [Palmer] and the excellent facilities at Columbus State University.”

###

Learn more »
Comments Off on Boston Symphony Orchestra Trombonist Credits Schwob School of Music in New Album

Columbus State’s Schwob School of Music Moving Toward a “Conservatory” Model

COLUMBUS, Ga. — The University System Board of Regents Wednesday approved Columbus State University’s request to adjust the curriculum in its Schwob School of Music so the school can move toward a conservatory curriculum model, effective fall 2015.

Intended to allow flexibility for students to receive more academic credit for studio lessons and performances, the new model also allows the Schwob school to adjust other required university classes to focus specifically on music students. For example, the school can now offer a wellness class to help young musicians ensure they have a long and injury-free performing career.

“As a performance-oriented school of high standards, the Schwob School of Music already functions as a music conservatory within a state university, much like the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri—Kansas City,” said Scott Harris, director of CSU’s Schwob School of Music. “With extensive private support, a growing network of partner institutions, and the increasing internationalization of the student body, the Schwob School of Music is poised to be recognized as the premiere public institution of its size and scope in the country.”

Harris said this new program design will be an aid to students and aligns the school with national norms. The changes apply to the Bachelor of Music in Performance and the Bachelor of Music in Music Education degrees, and the move strengthens both the music education and the performance degrees the school offers, Harris said.

CSU Interim President Tom Hackett is excited about the change, which may sound subtle to some, but speaks volumes about the caliber of the school.

“The Schwob School of Music is essentially a conservatory now,” Hackett said. “Formalizing that label sends a message internationally that we are able to make that kind of a bold statement about the quality of the curriculum we offer.”

###

Learn more »
Comments Off on Columbus State’s Schwob School of Music Moving Toward a “Conservatory” Model

Sensory Music Recital for Children with Autism at CSU

COLUMBUS, GA – Columbus State’s Schwob Music Preparatory Division presents its inaugural sensory-friendly music recital for youth with autism and sensory processing sensitivities at 6 p.m. Saturday, November 1 in RiverCenter’s Legacy Hall.

The sensory-friendly performances will cater to the needs of autistic and sensory processing sensitive audiences by avoiding high-volume dynamics, allowing audience members to enter and exit throughout the recital, and providing designated quiet areas in the lobby.

Columbus State’s Schwob School of Music students will perform solo and ensemble music for guitar, violin, horn quartet, and more.

Before and after the recital, youth are invited to enjoy NAfME-C’s (National Association for Music Educators – Collegiate) instrument petting zoo and have the opportunity to learn and handle various musical instruments.

Admission is free.

For more information, call (706)-641-5124, or visit music.columbusstate.edu.

###

Learn more »
Comments Off on Sensory Music Recital for Children with Autism at CSU

CSU Children’s Concert to be held at National Infantry Museum

PianosaurusCOLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University Schwob School of Music students will present a free concert for children and families Sunday, September 28, at 5:00 p.m. in the Grand Hall at the National Infantry Museum.

This fun and fast-paced concert is designed to expose youngsters to music and instruments, and to instill a desire to learn more. They’ll discover how to make noise without the aid of electronics. Classical music will be offered in an entertaining way – jazz students will perform The Pink Panther and two voice students dressed as cats will meow their way through Rossini’s “Cat Duet.” Pianosaurus, a brightly dressed and friendly mascot, will sing and encourage kids to participate.

The free concert is for any age; even babies are welcome!

The concert is the result of a partnership between the Schwob School of Music and the National Infantry Museum, aimed at providing additional opportunities for families to experience the community’s cultural offerings.

###

Learn more »
Comments Off on CSU Children’s Concert to be held at National Infantry Museum

Columbus State To Showcase Education Capabilities Of New Yamaha DCFX Concert Grand Piano

Donor Gail B. Greenblatt with L. Rexford Whiddon, Director of the Arts, Columbus State University, with the new Yamaha DCFX Concert Grand Piano purchased for the university's Schwob School of Music.

Donor Gail B. Greenblatt with L. Rexford Whiddon, Director of Development for CSU’S College of the Arts, with the new Yamaha DCFX Concert Grand Piano purchased for the university’s Schwob School of Music.

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music has acquired a new Yamaha DCFX concert grand piano—one of the finest instruments in the world—enabling the school’s students and faculty to take part in remote lessons, performances, and master classes with musicians from around the country and globe.

The acquisition of this magnificent instrument was made possible through a generous gift from a longtime supporter of the school, Gail B. Greenblatt. It will make its inaugural debut at a free concert and demonstration at 7:30pm on Sept. 9 in Legacy Hall, located in the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts on CSU’s RiverPark campus.

During the event, acclaimed pianist Alexander Kobrin will join with select students to showcase the piano’s remarkable performance and educational capabilities. Known for its rich palette of tonal colors and unprecedented tonal projection, the new DCFX is also imbued with powerful Disklavier technology that make it possible for a pianist to perform live in one location, while their exact keystrokes and pedal movements are transmitted in real time to any other Yamaha Disklavier located anywhere else in the world, along with synchronized video.

Kobrin, the L. Rexford Whiddon Distinguished Chair in Piano at CSU, described the new DCFX concert grand piano as a game changer in music education.

“In addition to adding a truly wonderful concert grand to the renowned collection of instruments at the Schwob School of Music, we have been given a golden opportunity to connect with major conservatories and master performers from around the world, to exchange experience and knowledge through remote lessons without our students having to go on expensive trips or professional pianists having to travel to Columbus,” said Kobrin. “This remarkable technology opens up a whole new world for our students, with priceless opportunities and educational advantages not previously possible.”

Schwob Music School Director Scott Harris said the new DCFX will enable students to connect more with music and the music community, both nationally and internationally.

“There are amazing things happening at the Schwob School of Music which we want to share with the world, and at the same time we want our students to access resources from anywhere and everywhere to support their work as performers, teachers, and scholars,” Harris said. “This beautiful instrument allows musicians to work with a most sophisticated technology in a simple, intuitive, musical way, and it extends Schwob’s reach for students, faculty, and the community. It facilitates our goals of bringing Schwob to the world and the world to Schwob.”

Schwob School of Music has now joined an elite, connected network of educational institutions, piano faculty and students sharing long distance lessons, master classes, and concert broadcasts, as well as a unique library of recorded content that is all part of the Yamaha Disklavier Education Network.

Schwob and other schools can now also tap into the Disklavier College Audition program, through which Yamaha, in partnership with community music schools, colleges, and dealers, offers college-bound pianists the opportunity to record video-synchronized auditions on Disklavier PRO pianos that are shared with college admissions and scholarship committees over the Internet.

###

Learn more »
Comments Off on Columbus State To Showcase Education Capabilities Of New Yamaha DCFX Concert Grand Piano

CSU Pianist Alumna to Perform at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall

Tzu-yi Chen

Tzu-yi Chen

COLUMBUS, Ga. — An award-winning pianist who earned a graduate degree from Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music will make her Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall debut in October.

Tzu-yi Chen, who received an artist’s diploma from CSU in 2013, will perform in the New York City landmark’s Weill Recital Hall at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11. Her concert will feature works by Mozart, Brahms, Mussorgsky and a Taiwanese composer, Winnie Lan-yin Yang.

A native of Taiwan, Chen came to the Schwob School of Music to study with Alexander Kobrin, CSU’s L. Rexford Whiddon Distinguished Chair in Piano. In February 2013, she was invited to audition for one of the music world’s most prestigious competitions, the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. (Kobrin won the 2005 competition.)

Before arriving at CSU, Chen studied at the Paris Conservatory, claiming its prestigious Premier Prix for graduating with highest honors. She’s also won the International Piano Competition of Mauro Paolo Monopoli in Italy and the Scholarship Competition of the Pro-Mozart Society of Atlanta. She was also a finalist at the Darmstadt International Chopin competition in Germany. Other honors include first prize in the Georgia Music Teachers Association upper college level (2013), first prize in the Atlanta Music Club Scholarship Competition (2012) and first prize in the Schwob School of Music’s concerto competition (2012).

Chen said she first became aware of the piano at age 3, when she insisted on sitting with her 5-year-old brother during his piano lessons instead of waiting with her mother.

“I was overtaken by the music,” Chen said, and she was soon enrolled in piano lessons.

After graduating from Columbus State in May 2013, Chen was hired by CSU’s Schwob school as a staff pianist and as an instructor in its Preparatory Division. She also co-founded the International Friendship Ministries’ Arts Academy, teaching children and youth, attempting to draw from them what she discovered as a child. Recently, she moved from Midland to Washington, D.C., where she has been hired as music director at the capital’s Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, also pursuing performing opportunities.

Chen’s Carnegie Hall debut came at the invitation of Distinguished Concerts International New York, which regularly books performers for Carnegie Hall and another NYC landmark, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

# # #

 

Learn more »
Comments Off on CSU Pianist Alumna to Perform at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall

Endowment Boosts Keyboard Studies at CSU’s Schwob School of Music

Jack and JoRhee Pezold

Jack and JoRhee Pezold

COLUMBUS, Ga. — One of the largest gifts in Columbus State University history will fund the newly named Jack and JoRhee Pezold Division of Keyboard Studies in CSU’s Schwob School of Music.

“The Pezolds’ generosity is indicative of the amazing support the Schwob school has received from the community since its establishment in 1969,” said Rex Whiddon, director of development for CSU’s College of the Arts. “Vying for a top tier music program of international distinction in a hyper-competitive marketplace requires substantial funding. This gift is transformational and will help ensure the Schwob School of Music will continue to thrive and compete successfully in the top echelon of music schools worldwide.”

The endowment from the Columbus couple will fund student scholarships, graduate assistantships and other special programs and initiatives that aim to enhance the piano and organ areas of the Schwob school.

Alexander Kobrin, CSU’s L. Rexford Whiddon Distinguished Chair in Piano, said the Pezold endowment will be invaluable in allowing CSU students to focus on developing their full potential.

“Even in Russian, my native language, I cannot find the words to describe how fortunate students are to be able to study at CSU,” Kobrin said. “Thanks to this gift, they can concentrate on their studies at an age they really need to learn.”

The gift will also fund travel for CSU keyboard students to participate in international competitions and festivals. Two of Kobrin’s graduate students were invited last year to audition for the prestigious 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, which Kobrin won in 2005.

“We’re just so fortunate to have someone of Alex’s reputation and stature, along with Rex Whiddon’s dedication to the arts,” JoRhee Pezold said. “Jack and I have been very impressed with the program they have developed and their vision for the future of the Schwob School of Music.”

Of the gift, she said, “We believe we have an opportunity and responsibility to help develop the talent of those students who would not, otherwise, have the resources to

fully achieve their God-given musical potential. As God has blessed us, it is our desire to bless talented students from this region and beyond.”

Jack Pezold, whose family’s Pezold Management Co. operates 22 Columbus-area McDonald’s and oversees a wide range of other investments, said the keyboard division gift “evolved” from their sponsorship of Gusto!, an annual benefit the Schwob School of Music presented at the National Infantry Museum last year. Their sponsorship included establishment of a new piano scholarship in JoRhee’s name.

“Often, Alex has told us, some of the most talented students from around the world don’t have the money to come here to study,” Pezold said. “Hopefully, this gift will offer advantages to those students — and Columbus State.”

CSU President Tim Mescon, praised the Pezold endowment for its value in enhancing the benefits of studying piano and organ at the Schwob school, thus continuing to attract some of the world’s most gifted musicians.

“The level of talent is amazing,” he said. “We’re able to offer concerts by world-class performers to the community on a regular basis — usually for free.  This has been a critical element of Columbus State University’s commitment to the greater Columbus community.”

The Pezold endowment will count toward the university’s comprehensive campaign, which is still in a “silent phase” as priorities are developed, goals are established and future contributors are identified.

CSU’s Schwob School of Music and College of the Arts will stage a free concert celebrating the gift at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14 at the RiverCenter’s Legacy Hall. The concert will feature award-winning keyboard students, professor Kobrin and Joseph Golden, professor and university organist. A reception will follow in the RiverCenter lobby.

# # #

Learn more »
Comments Off on Endowment Boosts Keyboard Studies at CSU’s Schwob School of Music

CSU Conducting Professor Creates Multimedia Textbook

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University’s Paul Hostetter is hoping instructors and students get a lot of mileage out of the hybrid textbook on orchestral conducting that he has authored.

The textbook, “OnMusic Conducting: Connect to the Sound,” is being published as a multimedia, online course guide by Connect4Education, which produces similar instructional material for the Web. The introductory course provides comprehensive training for conductors, using both face-to-face instruction and enhanced technological resources. As a hybrid text, materials appear online but can also be taught in the classroom. It’s written for college and university classes, but also — for the more ambitious — use in high schools.

“To my knowledge, it’s the first hybrid text of its kind,” said Hostetter, the Ethel Foley Distinguished Chair in Orchestral Activities for Columbus State’s Schwob School of Music.

The book is a long time coming for Hostetter. He spent last summer developing the course, although it actually had been on his mind for more than a decade because all textbooks he’d been using over the years had, in Hostetter’s eyes, a variety of limitations.

Hostetter said his greatest frustration before developing the course was his inability to deliver videos to students as part of an integrated approach. He’s solved that, he thinks, with his new multimedia course’s online portal.

“What we do is have them conduct compact arrangements of band, orchestral and choral repertoire,” Hostetter said. “While conducting, students are videotaped and then subsequently are able to view their work in a progressive format with slow motion and telestrators, much like what an Olympic athlete might use. This helps students focus more on making adjustments in their conducting technique rather than deal with other labor-intensive video delivery options.

“It’s very difficult for them to make adjustments in a highly visual medium unless they can review their work in detail,” he said. “This one element creates a seamless experience.”

Hostetter remembered — while teaching a music appreciation course for CSU — that he’d been using Connect4Education’s multimedia capabilities, which he was pleased with, also receiving positive feedback from students.

Because a branch of C4E has a Department of Defense contract for online training at Fort Benning, company CEO Dongsook Kim, on a visit to Columbus, wanted to meet Hostetter and thank him personally for his comments regarding the music appreciation course. Hostetter then pitched his concept for a hybrid course and asked if the company would be interested.

“She said, ‘Absolutely. We’d be interested,’” Hostetter said. He spent a day hammering out teaching specifics and the tools needed with Carlos Maldonado, C4E’s chief learning architect. One such tool would be one they developed called Acclaim, which allows uploading from any video format.

“It has slow-motion capabilities and arrows to point to people’s wrists, neck, shoulders or their face — to show them whatever it is you want them to correct,” he said. “This new tool is a really great solution in the effort to help students incorporate significant change in their physical delivery.”

Hostetter, then commissioned to author the text over a six-month period, went through the process of gathering and assembling all the information he’d accumulated throughout his academic and professional careers.

“There are many elements I’ve been thinking about for well over 10 years,” Hostetter said. “Things like left hand-right hand independence — something with which most conductors struggle. Score reading. Preparation. I think there are new ways to approach each that help students digest information more readily.”

Students have multiple opportunities to quiz themselves and review their work before participating in a graded event.

Hostetter used his fall conducting class  to test his text and has seen “excellent results.” Additionally, he’s shown it to colleagues and friends from various universities, conductors at the Pittsburgh and Spokane, Wash., symphonies and other professionals.

“People from all walks of academic and professional life have been reviewing the course, and the reviews have been extremely positive,” Hostetter said.

The textbook  became officially available in January, but he added that he feels most textbook adoptions are going to occur next fall.

“A nice thing about a hybrid text is when you publish it, you don’t have to wait a couple of years before you publish again,” Hostetter said.

# # #

Learn more »
No Comment

Warner Named to CSU’s New Hamer Distinguished Chair in Cello

Wendy Warner

COLUMBUS, Ga. —Wendy Warner, an internationally acclaimed faculty artist in the Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music, has been selected as CSU’s first Leah D. Hamer Distinguished Chair in Cello.

Columbus residents Leah D. Hamer and her son, George S. Hamer III, both major supporters of the Schwob school and CSU’s golf program, created the endowment that established the faculty chair.

Leah D. Hamer, a Columbus native, is the daughter of the late Richard and Leah DesPortes. A graduate of Columbus High School and Sullins College in Bristol, Va., she’s a past member of the Columbus Junior League. She’s the widow of George S. Hamer Jr. 

“This transformational gift from Leah and George Hamer establishes the seventh endowed faculty chair in the Schwob School of Music, and we accept it with our deepest gratitude,” said Rex Whiddon, director of development for CSU’s College of the Arts. “Their generosity is indicative of the support from the private sector that has elevated the Schwob school to a level of pre-eminence, not just among its regional peers, but as one of the leading music schools in the nation.”

Warner is widely considered one of the world’s leading contemporary cellists. As juror Frans Helmerson told the New York Times when Warner won first prize at the Fourth International Rostropovich Competition in Paris in 1990, “she’s unbelievable.” 

A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, Warner is on faculty at CSU, Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts and the Music Institute of Chicago.

She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Hall in Boston, Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Paris’ Salle Pleyel concert hall and Berlin’s Philharmonie concert hall. She has performed with the London Symphony, Berlin Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, French Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Iceland Symphony, L’Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, and L’Orchestre de Paris, with which she performed Brahms’ Double Concerto with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, and Semyon Bychkov conducting. Warner has played with the European Soloists of Luxembourg at Frankfurt’s Alter Oper and the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine. She has toured Japan as a soloist with NHK Symphony Orchestra and the Japan Philharmonic.  

Additionally, Warner has collaborated with such leading conductors as the late Mstislav Rostropovich, Vladimir Spivakov, Christoph Eschenbach, André Previn, Jesús López-Cobos, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Marin Alsop, Charles Dutoit, Eiji Oue, Neeme Järvi and Michael Tilson Thomas.

Recently, Warner made her debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, performing unknown works by Beethoven, which she recorded as part of the Beethoven Project trio.

The child of professional musicians and the granddaughter of composer Philip Warner, she began studying piano at age 4 and cello at age 6. At 14, she made her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. At 18, she began studying with cellist-conductor Mstislav Rostropovich at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Philadelphia conservatory from which she graduated in 1993.

###

Photo: Wendy Warner (high-resolution original)

Learn more »
No Comment

Columbus State Hires new Director of Schwob School of Music

COLUMBUS, Ga. — E. Scott Harris, director of the school of music at the University of Southern Maine, has been selected as the new leader of Columbus State University’s nationally respected Schwob School of Music.

Harris, who has been at the University of Southern Maine in Portland since 1992, was founding director of the music school when it was formed in 2002. He has also taught at Ithaca College and Indiana University, where he earned all three of his degrees.

“We are very excited to be able to announce Dr. Harris’ appointment to direct the Schwob school,” said College of the Arts Dean Richard Baxter. “He has the right mix of academic credentials, leadership experience, outreach knowledge and personality to realize the faculty’s vision of taking our music school to another level of excellence and prominence.”

Harris will start work in the Saunders Center for Music Studies on July 1, taking over from Rex Whiddon, the founding director of the Schwob School, who returned downtown earlier this year to serve as interim director while a national search was finalized.

“I’m excited about the future of the Schwob School of Music under Dr. Harris’ leadership and look forward to working with him to achieve our mutual vision for a school that is recognized internationally as one of the leading centers for music study,” Whiddon said.

Harris earned his bachelor’s degree in composition, his master’s in music theory and his doctorate in music theory, with minors in cello, composition and computer science. In addition to his scholarly duties, teaching and advising and fund-raising, Harris said a priority for him has been community engagement, including work with youth ensembles, the local Boys and Girls Clubs, and community outreach performances.

He said his visit to Columbus confirmed what he had heard about CSU’s Schwob School of Music and what’s been accomplished here.

“I can’t wait to meet all the students, faculty, staff, alumni, patrons, and donors there,” he said. “I’m looking forward to learning more about the community’s embrace of this special place and to working with campus leaders as we develop the Schwob school so that it continues to be a national model of what the best training for musicians looks like in the context of a comprehensive university.”

# # #

For more information, contact Richard L. Baxter, dean of the College of the Arts, at 706-507-8043 or by email at Baxter_Richard@ColumbusState.edu.

Photo: E. Scott Harris (higher-resolution original)

 

Learn more »
No Comment

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Composer to Lecture at CSU

Wayne Peterson COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State’s Schwob School of Music and the CSU Percussion Ensemble will host Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Wayne Peterson this weekend for two free, public events..

Peterson will attend an open lecture and discussion of his life and work in the arts at 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 19 in the RiverCenter’s Studio Theatre. He will also be in concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 21 in the RiverCenter’s Legacy Hall.

The concert also will feature Columbus Brass, a Schwob School of Music faculty ensemble, which will debut its work for brass quintet and percussion, accompanied by faculty artist Paul Vaillancourt (percussion) and directed by faculty artist Jamie Nix (conducting).

Lisa Oberlander, assistant director of the Schwob School of Music, will perform solo clarinet work, and there will be a performance by the CSU Singers, directed by Constantina Tsolainou. The CSU Percussion Ensemble will debut a work written for this event, and faculty artist Amy Griffiths (saxophone) will perform a concert premiere of Jim David’s new concerto for saxophone and percussion ensemble written for the 2012 International Saxophone Symposium And Competition, which was held at the Schwob school last October.

###

Photo: Wayne Peterson (high-resolution original)

 

 

Learn more »
No Comment

Schwob Student Takes Third at Regional Voice Auditions

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University student Jeanette Luna finished third place in the Third Year College Women category of the Southeastern Regional National Association of Teachers of Singing auditions held March 22-23 at Stetson University in DeLand, Fla.

Luna, a mezzo soprano and voice student of Dian Lawler-Johnson, a lecturer in CSU’s Schwob School of Music, was among 350 singers competing from Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Four other Schwob school students — Lydia Jackson, Kelly Goodson, Ashley Seldon and Victoria Leggett — also represented CSU at the Florida auditions. All five women were among top CSU competitors in the Georgia NATS student auditions held in February.

In March 2014, Columbus State will host the Southeastern Regional NATS competition.

# # #

Learn more »
No Comment

Back to Top