Tessman returns to Southern, performs to area

Tatiana Tessman, 2006 MSIPC winner, performs with the Southern Symphony Orchestra April 5 in Taylor Auditorium.

Special to The Chart

Tatiana Tessman, 2006 MSIPC winner, performs with the Southern Symphony Orchestra April 5 in Taylor Auditorium.

Last year’s MSIPC winner, Tatiana Tessman, visited Missouri Southern and the local area March 31 through April 6.

“It went beautifully,” said Vivian León, director of the MSIPC. “We had visited quite a few schools, thousands of students; it was just amazing.”

Tessman began her week with a performance for area piano teachers and their students at the First Calvary Baptist Church. León said she was “pleasantly surprised” with the crowd.

The next day, Tessman conducted a class in Webster Hall. There were two of Tessman’s students and two graduate students from Pittsburg State University. After they performed, Tessman gave pointers and demonstrated in front an audience.

“It was really, really good,” León said. “She has very good teaching skills and she communicates well because she has a very charming personality. And the kids really learn a lot from her as well. The audience sitting there listening are learning too.”

On the third day, Tessman visited Riverton and Martin Luther Middle School, then McCauley and St. Peters. In the afternoon she played for Carl Junction High School.

“That was crazy. All day long, we were doing one after another, then that night she had dress rehearsal with the orchestra,” León said.

On Tuesday, Tessman performed the concert with the orchestra.

“It was fabulous,” León said. “We had a good crowd, and the orchestra was 90 strong, and (Tessman) was just magnificent, The people there were very, very impressed.”

León said the audience was also pleased with the orchestra.

“The orchestra is evolving and getting better all the time, it just surprised everybody that it was so good,” León said. “They just rose to the occasion and it was just a fabulous performance.”

On April 4, Tessman played for music appreciation and theory classes, then she played for R-8 high schools. The next day, Tessman visited Thomas Jefferson, the Rotary Club and then College Heights.

“The kids just loved her,” León said.

León said the children stood anxiously in long lines for Tessman’s autograph. One student with no hair had Tessman autograph his head. Another student asked Tessman how she performed in high heels. However, the students weren’t the only ones learning.

“I think Ms. Tessman has learned a lot too,” León said. “This is not usually what a concert artist does. When she went out, I saw that she was growing and getting better and becoming more comfortable. She started joking and just having fun. It was very fun and enjoyable for her, and the kids get to hear great music and talk to her and ask questions.

“The most important thing is for them to see what excellence is all about and what it takes to achieve that. You have to work hard, and I think that message got to the children very clearly because they got watch her.”

Tessman said she has found a family with Southern.

“Careness, support and love are what Missouri Southern gave me,” Tessman said.