Music to host third Piano and Strings Day

Lauren Ganger, Staff writer

On Sept. 30, the D’Angelo Department of Music will host its third annual Piano and Strings Day, a daylong program for musicians in grades six thru 12.
The day will begin at 8 a.m. with a welcome meeting before students break off into group lessons, a music theory class and activities.
Students will come together to eat lunch at Grotto Commons and take a campus tour.
Afterward, the strings students will attend a masterclass where they will play for the group and receive constructive criticism, while the pianists will attend a lecture about practicing techniques and the careers available to them in music.
The groups will then switch, allowing for each group to attend both sessions.
The day will culminate with a recital in Walker Recital Hall, ending around 8 p.m.
Jonathan Moser, violin, and Nathan Hess, D.M.A., piano, are the two faculty members who have been involved in the planning of this day, working closely with Mariana Mathewson, a senior Cello/Music Education/Composition major, and Kayla Bravchok, a junior Violin/Music Education major.
For Education majors like Mathewson and Bravchok, the experience of planning and running a program will be helpful to them when they are teaching music in schools.
In addition, Olivia Windus, a senior Saxophone/Music Therapy major; Macrina Forrest, a sophomore Voice Performance major; and Patrick Smith, a post-bac, Voice/Music Education major, will also be present to ensure that things run smoothly on the day of the program.
“There are a couple of goals for this day—first and foremost is to make music together in a spirit of collaboration,” Mathewson said. “We really want to show kids what can happen when we get together to make beautiful music, and that collaborating with other musicians is really really fun.”
However, in addition to showing these music students the joys of collaboration, there are individual goals for them as well.
Mathewson said that the program should “show kids how much progress they can make individually in one day’s time.”
“From the first lesson in the morning to the recital at night, students will be able to feel a sense of growth and accomplishment,” she said.
Registration is $50 and includes a T-shirt.
Students of all skill levels are welcome, and Mathewson said that in past Piano and Strings Days, “all experience levels were represented, from beginner to advanced, which resulted in a really nice atmosphere overall.”
“I think it’s really important for kids to interact with peers who are at varying levels of musicianship, so that they can meet new people and make new connections with kids in the area who are musicians,” Mathewson said.
In the words of Plato, “Education in Music is most sovereign because more than anything else, rhythm and harmony find their way to the innermost soul, and take strongest hold upon it.”
If you know of an eligible student in grades 6 through 12, send email to or to be added to the email list for next year’s program.