Current Events Calendar

  • July 29, 2017 7:30 pm
    Col Legno Duo, Bassoon and Marimba

    The Col Legno Duo consists of a bassoon (Amy Pollard) and marimba (Scott Pollard). The term, col legno, comes from music notation meaning to strike the strings of a violin, viola, etc. with the woody part of the bow to achieve a tuned percussive effect a la a marima but using a tuned wooden bar and a sound column (think tube). While the bassoon could be struck with a mallet or stick, the effect would not be melodic and it would be harsh on the bassoon's finish.

    Based in Athens, GA, the husband and wife duo have performed in South America as well as at major venues across the US, including Rice University, the University of Texas, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Oberlin College, Ohio State University, Michigan State University, the University of Georgia, the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Louisiana State University, University of Alabama, and the University of South Carolina. Col Legno has also made appearances at conferences such as the Percussive Arts Society International Convention and the International Double Reed Society conference. The duo is passionate about education and frequently combines master classes and clinics with recitals. One of the major goals for the group is creating chamber music experiences that are accessible, informative, and diverse.

    Amy Pollard, a native of Cincinnati, OH, is the Associate Professor of Bassoon at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia. She formerly served as lecturer of bassoon at Baylor University and has also been on faculty at the University of Dayton and the Cincinnati School for the Creative and Performing Arts. During the summer she has been on the faculty of the Interlochen Arts Center Advanced Bassoon Institute. She is currently second bassoonist with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and has performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, the Virginia Symphony, the Charleston Symphony, Symphony Orchestra Augusta, the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, among others.

    Amy has performed as a soloist with the University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra and Wind Symphony as well as with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Chamber Players. An avid chamber musician, she has performed at venues throughout the United States and also in Ireland, Belgium, and Argentina with such groups as the Georgia Woodwind Quintet, the Baylor University Woodwind Quintet, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Woodwind Quintet, and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Chamber Players. Her bassoon-percussion duo, Col Legno, has performed recitals and presented master classes at numerous venues throughout the country.

    Amy received her Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Louisiana State University.

    Scott Pollard, a native of Raleigh, NC, has held full-time percussion/timpani positions with the Buffalo Philharmonic and the US Air Force Concert Band in Washington, D.C. Currently an active freelance musician throughout the Southeast, Scott performs regularly with the Atlanta Symphony, NC Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Charleston Symphony, and Alabama Symphony, and plays principal percussion/timpani with the NC Opera, Carolina Ballet, and Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle. In recent years he’s been a featured soloist with the NC Symphony and the Virginia Arts Festival, and in the past performed with the Grand Teton Festival Orchestra, Houston Symphony, and Houston Grand Opera.Scott is a founding member of the Attacca Percussion Group and the Col Legno Duo (bassoon/percussion). He has presented hundreds of educational clinics, chamber music recitals, and calypso band performances (he’s an avid steel drummer) throughout the country, including at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, and several statewide Days of Percussion. Internationally, he has performed and given master classes throughout Europe and South America. He is proud to maintain artist endorsements with the Zildjian Cymbal Company, Vic Firth, Incorporated, and Majestic/Mapex Percussion.

    Scott currently serves as the Artist Affiliate in Percussion at Emory University in Atlanta, and maintains a private studio in Athens, GA. Former teaching positions include Interim Professor of Percussion at the University of Georgia and Director of Percussion for the NC Governor’s School. Scott earned his Bachelor’s of Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and his Master’s of Music from Rice University.

    For some sample performances, visit this page.


  • August 5, 2017 7:30 pm
    Great Hall at Penn Alps
    Polaris Piano Trio

    The Polaris Piano Trio performs innovative programs that explore works by women and composers of African descent from the 19th century through the present.

    Violinist Laura Kobayashi has participated in numerous music festivals in the United States, Puerto Rico, Norway, Argentina, and Brazil and has appeared as a soloist with the Seattle, Spokane, and Grand Junction Symphonies, the Northwest Chamber Orchestra, the Omaha Symphony Chamber Orchestra, the Salta Chamber Orchestra in Salta, Argentina and the Chiang Rai Youth Orchestra in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

    Dr. Kobayashi studied violin with Dorothy DeLay, Paul Kantor, Andrew Jennings and Denes Zsigmondy and has performed in the master classes of Nathan Milstein, Arthur Grumiaux, Ruggiero Ricci and Gyorgy Pauk. Chamber music studies have been with members of the Juilliard, Tokyo and American String Quartets as well as with collaborative pianists, Robert McDonald and Samuel Sanders. Dr. Kobayashi earned degrees from The Juilliard School and Yale University and the Doctor of Musical Arts from The University of Michigan.

    Cellist Kenneth Law enjoys a diverse career as performer, teacher and author. In addition to being a founding member of the Main Street Music Studios and Main Street Chamber Players in Fairfax, VA, he is also a member of the Ritz Chamber Players. He has performed internationally as soloist and recitalist, including appearances at the Washington (DC) Performing Arts Club and German Embassy, the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jazz at Lincoln Center Concert Series, and Alice Tully Hall in New York City. Mr. Law has also performed in England, France, Scotland, Panama and Puerto Rico as a member of the Converse Trio. He has collaborated with such artists as Earl Carlyss (Juilliard String Quartet), Michael Tree (Guarneri Quartet), Ying String Quartet, Norman Carroll (concertmaster emeritus, Philadelphia Orchestra) and violinist Diane Monroe, and has recorded orchestral and chamber music for Albany Records, and the New Albion and Telarc labels. A recipient of the 2010 South Carolina ASTA Studio Teacher of the Year Award, Mr. Law’s students have been accepted to the Eastman School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Peabody and Oberlin Conservatories, Indiana University (Bloomington), Florida State University, Cincinnati College-Conservatory, Catholic University, University of South Carolina, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and other respected schools of music throughout the southeast. His degrees and diplomas are from the Eastman School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Peabody Conservatory, and The Juilliard School. His summer faculty appointments have included the Summit Music Festival, Vienna (VA) Summer Strings, Five Seasons Chamber Music Festival, and the Colour of Music Festival in Charleston SC.

    Stephen Buck, pianist made his Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall debut through Artists International in New York, and is currently serving as Coordinator of Academic Studies at the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music. Active throughout the United States and Europe, Dr. Buck received his doctoral degree from Yale University School of Music.

    Recent performance highlights have included a wide range of repertoire and venues, including three concertos in one evening with the Orquesta Juveníl de Caracas and pianist Vanessa Perez in Venezuela; a chamber opera by Huang Ruo at the Guggenheim Museum in New York; Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Winds and Laura Kaminsky’s Piano Concerto at Purchase College; an appearance on Vanessa Perez’ release for the Steinway label of works by Debussy and de Falla; and recordings for the Innova and Naxos labels of works by Huang Ruo; and performances with actor Bill Murray, cellist Jan Vogler, and violinst Mira Wang.

    An avid chamber musician and collaborative pianist, Dr. Buck taught and performed for several summers at the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival in southern Italy.  In 2006 he co-founded the AlpenKammerMusik Festival in Austria, an intensive 11-day course for musicians of all ages.  His interest in new music led him to perform with F.I.RE, a New-York based contemporary music ensemble, while his work with the Polaris Trio explores 19th and 20th century repertoire. Dr. Buck moved back to New York City after teaching piano and music history at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. Prior to moving to South Carolina, he completed a Teaching Fellowship at Yale University, where he earned his Master of Musical Arts in 2001 studying with Peter Frankl. While at Yale, he won the Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition, performing Ravel’sConcerto for the Left Hand.

    Dr. Buck received a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan, studying with Anton Nel, where he won Second Prize at the 1998 Isabel Scionti Competition, the university’s Concerto Competition with the BarberPiano Concerto, and received the Stockwell Memorial Scholarship. He also served on the faculty of the Orchard Lake School of Music. Dr. Buck graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University in 1995, where he studied with Ann Schein at Peabody Conservatory.

  • August 12, 2017 7:30 pm
    Revamped Duo

    Mark and Sally Minnich

    Mark and Sally Minnich

    NB: This concert will be in the Chapel!

    Revamped is an independent duo comprised of violinists Mark Minnich and Sally Williams Minnich, who have been bringing the precision of classical training together with the energy of pop concerts ever since since establishing the group in 2008. They have performed in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Washington D.C., and abroad in Austria and Greece. Revamped is currently based out of Central Pennsylvania and is available for performances in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., New York City and surrounding areas.

    Mark Minnich holds a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from Bowling Green State University. His studies included work with professors Vasile Beluska and Ioana Galu, and he was an active member of various ensembles such as the Philharmonic Orchestra, the Undergraduate String Quartet, the Jazz String Quartet, the Undergraduate Jazz Combo, and the Latin rock band "La Revancha". Mark has performed on tours within the United States as well as in Canada, Germany, Austria, Poland, Greece, China, and Tanzania. He has been teaching privately since 2007, instructing students of all ages and levels, and is currently working through the State College Music Academy and the Grier School. Mark has continued his studies at Penn State with a Master of Music in violin performance and a Master of Arts in music theory and history.

    Sally Williams Minnich began Suzuki violin lessons at age four and was accepted at age 16 as a preparatory student of David Russell at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She has appeared as a soloist at numerous events, including performances at the Electronic Music Midwest Festival in 2011 and with Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra in 2014. She also recorded strings for Superchic[k]’s album “Rock What you Got” which was nominated for a Grammy in 2008.
    Williams Minnich holds bachelor's degrees in violin performance and music composition and a master’s degree in violin performance from Bowling Green State University as well as a master's degree in music education from Pennsylvania State University. She has had the privilege of studying with violin pedagogues Vasile Beluska and James Lyon and with composers Burton Beerman, Marilyn Shrude, Elainie Lillios, and Mikel Kuehn. She is currently developing a method for string education while serving as the Creative Director of the State College Suzuki Program.


    Summer” from “The Four Seasons” - Antonio Vivaldi
    O Magnum Mysterium – Tomas Luis de Victoria
    Beethoven’s Fifth - Ludwig von Beethoven
    Scarborough Fair - Traditional English
    Ships are Sailing/Red Haired Boy – Traditional Irish
    The Star of the County Down - Traditional Irish
    Chameleon - Herbie Hancock
    Hotel California - The Eagles
    Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin

  • August 19, 2017 7:30 pm
    Great Hall at Penn Alps
    David Pedraza, viola and piano

    David Pedraza, Violist

    David was born in Reynosa, Mexico, and started his musical studies at 14 in the OCJM under Jose Vazquez. Later on he received a full scholarship to study the Bachelor of Music at Shenandoah Conservatory.  From 2003 to 2005 he was part of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas under Placido Domingo, Carlos Prieto and Gustavo Dudamel.  David holds a Professional Performance Certificate from Lynn University Conservatory of Music and recently he finished his Master of Music at the same institution with an award of full scholarship.  He won the First Prize with Vitali String Quartet at the 2004 MTNA Virginia chamber music competition and also has received honorific mentions in 2005 and 2007 from the MTNA Viola competition in Florida. He has participated in master classes of Carol Rodland, Jeffrey Irvine, Roberto Diaz, Kim Kashkashian, Peter Slowik, Orlando Cole, Arnold Steinhardt, Ellen Rose Basil Vendryes and Wilfried Strehle.  Recently he performed  the Bartok Viola Concerto with the Orquesta Sinfonica de la UAT.  David has performed  in countries like: Mexico, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Peru, Spain, France, Switzerland  and the UK. His main teacher was Ralph Fielding. Currently he is part of the Con Brio Quartet, and is Principal viola with the Symphony of the Americas.

    Anna Nizhegorodtseva, Piano

    Russian   born   pianist   Anna   Nizhegorodtseva   has   garnered   numerous prizes  in international   competitions   for   piano   and   for   chamber   music. Among   these   are   1st  Prize   from   the  17th   EUTERPE   International   Music Competition in Italy, 1st Prize at the Lewisville Lake Symphony International Piano   Competition   in   Texas,   2nd  Prize   at   the   Los   Angeles   International Bicentennial Liszt Competition, 1st  Prize at the MTAC in Los Angeles, 2nd Prize   at   the   Moscow   Chamber   Music   Competition,   and   1st  Prize   in   the International Piano Competition in Kiev, Ukraine. Anna   frequently   performs   in   the   US   and   abroad,   as   a   soloist   and collaborative pianist. Her performances in the US, France, Italy, Spain and Mexico,   in   venues   like   Carnegie   Hall   in   New   York   and   the   American Cathedral in Paris, have been establishing her reputation. Recognized as a rising   young   star,   she   has   already   been   invited   onto   the   jury  of an international festival, the 2016 Xi’an International Music Festival in China. Anna began her piano lessons when she was 6 years old; she holds an ArtistCertificate from Azusa Pacific University and Doctoral in Musical Arts from The Catholic University of America in Washington DC.


    Sonata for Viola and Piano, Jose Pablo Moncayo (1912-1958)

    1. Allegro Moderato
    2. Lento
    3. Allegro

    Suite No.6 in G major for Viola, BWV 1012, J.S. Bach (1685-1750)

    1. Prelude
    2. Allemande
    3. Courante
    4. Sarabande
    5. Gavotte I
    6. Gavotte II
    7. Gigue

    La Campanella (arr. William Primrose), N. Paganini (1782-1840)

    Granada “Fantasia Espanola”, Agustin Lara (1897-1970)

    Sonata for Viola and Piano, Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979)

    1. Impetuoso: Poco agitato
    2. Vivace
    3. Adagio – Allegro.