Newberry Hosts 59th SCMTA Conference
November 4, 2019
NEWBERRY — Newberry College hosted the 59th annual South Carolina Music Teachers Association conference and state competitions Oct. 31 – Nov. 2. This marked the first time Newberry has hosted the event since 1983.
The three-day event featured teaching workshops, masterclasses, performances and state-level competitions for juniors, seniors and young artists on all instruments.
The conference clinician was author and pianist Jane Magrath. Her book, “The Pianist’s Guide to Standard Teaching and Performance Literature,” has become a reference work for pianists throughout the country. Magrath’s work in the area of Classical teaching literature has contributed to the current revival of interest in Classical music throughout the United States.
Alan Chow, a renowned pianist, was featured as the conference artist, giving a concert at the Newberry Opera House Friday. He is well known both as a performer and as a teacher, having performed in recitals and in concerts with orchestras in 47 states, and having given numerous masterclasses throughout Asia and North America. Chow currently serves on the artist faculty at the Eastman School of Music.
On Thursday, attendees were treated to a performance by the Newberry College Jazz Big Band, under the direction of Dr. Jerry Gatch.
On Friday, faculty and students from Winthrop University premiered the conference’s commissioned work, “Elegy: In Memoriam of the Emanuel Nine.” The nine-part piece, composed by Winthrop’s Leonard Mark Lewis for chorus and strings, honored and reflected on the lives taken in the June 17, 2015, massacre at “Mother” Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston. The performance was conducted by Dr. Elisa Koehler, chair of Winthrop’s Department of Music, and featured soprano soloist Sequina DuBose.
Pictured: Composer Leonard Mark Lewis (Credit: Winthrop University)