AC’s Art Force Piano Series features 4 compelling concerts in year ahead

The Art Force Piano Series at Amarillo College will present four compelling and distinctive concerts throughout 2022-23, and they will be alternatively performed by accomplished visiting pianists and AC faculty musicians.

The concerts will be conducted on Tuesday evenings at the Concert Hall Theater on AC’s Washington Street Campus, beginning with some time-honored Americana on Oct. 4, and all four of them are free and open to the public.

“We love offering a variety of outstanding concerts at no cost to our music-loving community,” Dr. Bruce Lin, artistic director for the concert series and director of piano at AC, said. “We are so grateful for our generous sponsors at Art Force who make it all possible.

“I am confident that our audiences will particularly enjoy the amazing guest artists we have lined up for them this year. I look forward to hearing them myself.”

Sponsored by Art Force Amarillo, the Piano Series features the following four installments at the Concert Hall Theater:

Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. – “American Abstract: A Kaleidoscope of the Music of America” 

Dr. Bruce Lin, piano, and Dr. Melody Rich, soprano, both of the AC faculty, will take their audience on a uniquely American musical journey – from hymns and spirituals, to selections that mirror the unrest of the Civil War, to traditional jazz and, finally, to the whimsy of American musical theatre.

Lin, an assistant professor of piano, 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.

Rich, an assistant professor of voice, is at home both on the stage and in academia. Both a singer and a teacher of singers of all levels and genres, her own performances span from classical and operatic to musical theatre and contemporary music. Formerly on the faculty at University of Texas – San Antonio, the University of Incarnate Word, Hardin-Simmons University and Sam Houston State University, she has conducted choirs and served as musical director for myriad theatre productions.

Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. – “Igor Lipinski’s Piano Illusions” 

Widely known as both a musician and a magician, Igor Lipinski presents a unique program that features audience participation and a variety of unconventional practices that reimagine the traditional piano recital format.

Teller of the Las Vegas duo Penn & Teller said this about Lupinski: “Igor is an original. He thrills you on the piano. He mystifies you with magical illusions. And he keeps you laughing with his impudent, charismatic charm.”

The Polish-born Lupinski is a graduate of Eastman School of Music and Northwestern University. He presently serves as an assistant professor of piano at the University of Oklahoma. Piano Illusions has taken him worldwide, from Hong Kong to New York City, presenting his show of music and magic at festivals, concert halls, and symphony orchestras – including Rochester Philharmonic and Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra.

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. – “2023 Jam with Love!” 

AC Music Faculty – the accomplished AC Music Department faculty assembles to share music of love that nurtures the Valentine spirit.

This is a chance for anyone who may be feeling cooped up by the mid-winter’s blustery conditions to get out and listen to some spirited strains of optimism, hope and love.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. – “Piano Buffet” 

John Bayless offers a variety of genres, from opera to Broadway shows, music from the movies, and even the Beatles.

Bayless, who began playing piano at age 4, today is known for his keen ability to imaginatively improvise popular music through his own blend of classical training and piano technique. A product of Borger, Texas, Bayless won a scholarship to the Aspen School of Music at age 15. He went from there to study at the Juilliard School of Music, and he also studied at New York University with Leonard Bernstein, among others.

Bayless tours widely in the U.S., Europe and Asia and frequently appears at Pops concerts.