Classical pianist leads workshop for Markoe students
Published: March 9, 2013
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ST. CROIX - Julory Deterville's eyes lit up Friday morning when he was selected to assist classical pianist Solon Pierce during Pierce's presentation to a group of about 50 students at Claude O. Markoe Elementary School.
Julory, 11, said he always has had an interest in music and playing the piano, so being able to be close to the piano was a welcome surprise for him.
"I've never learned to play, but I would like to," the fifth-grader said. "I know of different types of music and different instruments, but hearing the classical music coming from the piano and sounding so good, made me really want to learn."
Julory helped Pierce in is selections by turning the sheets of music for him as Pierce played the complicated classical pieces by internationally famous composers.
Julory's head moved to the rhythm of the music and his eyes moved swiftly from the sheets of music to the keys as Pierce delicately fluttered his fingers across the notes to produce the music.
"He makes it look so easy," Julory said.
The presentation was part of the Victor Borge Listen and Learn Music series at Claude O. Markoe School this month. The event was sponsored by the V.I. Council on the Arts and the goal is to broaden musical appreciation by deepening understanding and stimulating imagination. The Listen and Learn Workshop is a monthly in-school workshop that is done in tandem with the Candlelight Concert Series held at Whim Museum.
The workshops are for students and senior citizens and mostly feature classical music, although other local music styles also are showcased.
Pierce has performed extensively as a solo and collaborative artist and given master classes in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
He performs frequently in his native Wisconsin, including appearances with the Festival City Symphony of Milwaukee and the Madison Symphony. He also performs on broadcasts for Wisconsin Public Radio, Radio Denmark in Copenhagen, Iowa Public Radio and the WFMT network, Chicago.
Pierce said playing his music and giving a presentation that would be captivating to an audience of elementary school students was very difficult, but he thought the students did well.
He said he began dabbling in music at a young age, similar to many of the children, but he started playing the violin. When his mother coaxed him to play the piano, Pierce was a bit reluctant, but he picked it up quickly and really enjoyed the instrument, he said.
"Playing the piano, or any other instrument is something you guys cans start doing at your age and the good thing about it is that it will stay with your for your whole life," Pierce said.
He captured the students' attention by playing classical pieces featured on cartoons from TV and the movies. He discussed how the music is used to show and change mood in a scene and to give the audience the expectation that something is going to happen based on the speed, or tone of the piece being played.
Pierce will perform music by Gunnar Johansen - a friend and colleague of Victor Borges - and other composers.
The Candlelight Concert's showing this month was Friday night, and it will continue tonight at Whim Museum.
For more information call 772-0598.
- Contact Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org