Master pianist to visit Southern

Jesse O. Walls

Guest pianist, Roger Wright, will be visiting the Southern campus for two events: a piano master class on April 3 and as a guest soloist for Gershwin Tonight! on April 4. A professional pianist, he received his Master’s Degree at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and went on to receive fellowship awards for study at the Aspen Music Festival two summers in a row.

“I enjoyed singing in choir at school, and before I started formal training I would tinker at the piano before class would start – or any other chance I would get,” said Wright. “Finally my choir teacher told my mother ‘this boy needs piano lessons’ and we went from there.”

According to Wright, he knew as soon as he started piano lessons he wanted to be a professional pianist.

Master Class

The master class will be held on April 3 at noon in Corley Auditorium. Open to the public, two students will perform with Wright while he offers comments on their playing, going into detail on the music and exploring it from all angles.

“In this master class he will be working with several of our MSSU pianists,” Professor of Music, Jeffrey Macomber, said. “He will be listening to them perform some music that they are working on, then he will be working with them individually, but in a public forum.”

According to Macomber, Wright will be working with two or three students, helping them with their technique and musicality in front of an audience.

“A master class is a great opportunity for the students to gain experience performing, and can often be enlightening for the audience as well,” said Wright.

Gershwin Tonight

Wright will be a guest soloist with the Missouri Southern Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Macomber, on Gershwin Tonight! at 7:30 p.m. on April 4 in Taylor Performing Arts Center.  The performance will feature the works of American composer, George Gershwin, who wrote music for Broadway, as well as for the concert hall.

“We will begin the concert with a Cuban overture, which is a concert overture,” said Macomber. “It’s got a lot of Cuban rhythms in it, and some Cuban percussion, and a kind of Cuban-flavored ambience that it creates.”

The overture will open the event, and will be followed by music from the Broadway stage. After the intermission, the show will conclude with Gershwin’s Concerto in F, which will feature guest pianist, Roger Wright.

“It’s a wonderful work – it’s a beguiling work, and it’s one that anybody can enjoy,” said Macomber of the concerto.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information on Roger Wright, find his Facebook page, Roger Wright Backstage Pass.