The Amarillo College Music Department is pleased to announce its schedule for the 2021-22 Art Force Piano Series – a celebration of iconic music to be alternately performed by accomplished visiting pianists and AC faculty musicians.
The Piano Series is sponsored by Art Force Amarillo, and all five concerts to be featured over a seven-month span are free and open to the public.
The series, which begins on Tuesday, Oct. 5, will be conducted entirely at the Concert Hall Theater on AC’s Washington Street Campus.
“We are excited to be able to present great, free music on our Washington Street Campus,” Dr. Bruce Lin, artistic director for the concert series and director of piano at AC, said. “We have some outstanding guest performers lined up over the next several months, and I am confident that our audiences will be pleased.”
The seven-month Art Force Piano Series features the following five installments at the Concert Hall Theater:
Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. – “Thirty Dirty Fingers” – Dr. Bruce Lin and Dr. Nathaniel Fryml of the AC faculty, and Dr. James Rauscher, former chair of the AC Music Department (retired). The trio will compete for keyboard space on the same piano to synchronously present works from Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Sousa and more.
Fryml is director of choral activities at AC and serves as artistic director of the Amarillo Master Chorale. He also actively performs as a keyboard soloist and chamber musician.
Lin has performed throughout Canada, China, Mexico, Taiwan and the U.S. He is both a soloist and an active chamber musician. He formerly served on the music faculty at Texas Lutheran University and University of the Incarnate Word.
Rauscher spent 35 years teaching piano at AC. He has served as principal keyboardist for the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra since 1981, and he also is a frequent guest soloist with the orchestra.
Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. – “Dances and Romances” – Alex McDonald and Rachel Li McDonald. The husband-wife duo will perform their arrangement of five movements from the Nutcracker, Piazzolla’s Grand Tango, Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne, and more.
Rachel Li McDonald has actively performed and taught throughout North America and Japan since her debut chamber performance at Carnegie Hall was broadcast on PBS. She holds a bachelor’s degree from The Julliard School, as well as a master’s degree from Rice University.
Pianist Alex McDonald, since his orchestral debut at age 11, has soloed with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de Mexico, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and the Utah Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has received many awards and has performed across the United States as well as in Israel, Mexico, Canada, Japan, and South Korea.
Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. – “2022 Jam with Love!” – AC Music Faculty.
The AC Music Department faculty assembles to share music of love that nurtures the Valentine spirit. This is a chance for everyone who is feeling cooped up by winter’s inclemency to get out and hear spirited strains of optimism and hope.
Tuesday, March 1, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. – “Forgotten Masterpieces of Central European Piano Music” – Slawomir Dobrzanski.
Pianist Slawomir Dobrzanski presents a program featuring the music of three long-forgotten romantic composers from Eastern and Central Europe: Maria Szymanowska (1789-1831), the first woman in history to become a professional virtuoso pianist and composer; Anton de Kontski (1816-1899), a noted friend of Frédéric Chopin who undertook a grand concert tour around the world; and Karoly Agghazy (1855-1918), considered the most accomplished Hungarian student of Franz Liszt.
Slawomir is a soloist and chamber musician who has performed in more than 20 countries on 4 continents. He resides in Manhattan, Kan., where he serves as professor of piano at Kansas State University’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance.
Tuesday, April 5, 2022 – “Beethoven 250” – David Palmer, artistic director of Chamber Music Amarillo, who is a great fan of Beethoven, whose 250th birthday in 2020 was celebrated the world over despite the pandemic. Palmer’s artistry and musicality will charm audiences.
Palmer, a pianist, has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe since the early 1990s, as both a soloist and chamber musician. Chamber Music Amarillo was awarded second place in the 2017-18 Professional Division of the nationally recognized American Prize competition, which celebrates excellence in the arts. He also founded and served as artistic director of the Quartz Mountain Music Festival in Oklahoma from 2006-2011.
From his work with Chamber Music Amarillo and the Quartz Mountain Music Festival, Palmer has gained an extensive knowledge on managing and performing in the musical arts, working with such artists as the Romero Guitar Quartet; renowned opera soprano Mary Jane Johnson; Montreal Symphony Orchestra Concert Master Richard Roberts; jazz musicians Bevan Manson, Lee Rucker, Kent Kidwell, Mark Little, and Jamie Davis; and a host of other noted artists.
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The AC Music Department also is excited to announce that, thanks to sponsorship by the David D. and Nona S. Payne Foundation, three performances from the Piano Series will be presented encore-style in the Panhandle communities of Canadian, Pampa and Wellington.
These community concerts will commence in Wellington when the AC faculty trio presents “Thirty Dirty Fingers” at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10 at the Ritz Theater.
Details for the remaining presentations (both will occur in 2022) will be announced at a later date.