AC Music Department features accomplished musicians in Art Force Piano Series

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Amarillo College Music Department is celebrating iconic music through performances by accomplished visiting pianists and AC Musicians.

The concerts are free and open to the public and the piano series is sponsored by Art Force Amarillo.

The first concert in the series was on Oct. 5 at the concert Hall theatre, and the performers were all current or former AC Faculty.

The Art Force Piano Series will continue with the following four concerts:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. – “Dances and Romances” — Alex McDonald and Rachel Li McDonald. The husband-wife duo will perform their arrangement of five movements from the Nutcracker, Piazzolla’s Grand Tango, Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne, and more. Rachel Li McDonald has actively performed and taught throughout North America and Japan since her debut chamber performance at Carnegie Hall was broadcast on PBS. She holds a bachelor’s degree from The Julliard School, as well as a master’s degree from Rice University. Pianist Alex McDonald, since his orchestral debut at age 11, has soloed with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de Mexico, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and the Utah Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has received many awards and has performed across the United States as well as in Israel, Mexico, Canada, Japan, and South Korea.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. – “2022 Jam with Love!” – AC Music Faculty — The AC Music Department faculty assembles to share music of love that nurtures the Valentine spirit. This is a chance for everyone who is feeling cooped up by winter’s inclemency to get out and hear spirited strains of optimism and hope.
  • Tuesday, March 1, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. – “Forgotten Masterpieces of Central European Piano Music” – Pianist Slawomir Dobrzanski presents a program featuring the music of three long-forgotten romantic composers from Eastern and Central Europe: Maria Szymanowska (1789-1831), the first woman in history to become a professional virtuoso pianist and composer; Anton de Kontski (1816-1899), a noted friend of Frédéric Chopin who undertook a grand concert tour around the world; and Karoly Agghazy (1855-1918), considered the most accomplished Hungarian student of Franz Liszt. Slawomir is a soloist and chamber musician who has performed in more than 20 countries on 4 continents. He resides in Manhattan, Kan., where he serves as professor of piano at Kansas State University’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance.
  • Tuesday, April 5, 2022 – “Beethoven 250” — David Palmer, artistic director of Chamber Music Amarillo, who is a great fan of Beethoven, whose 250th birthday in 2020 was celebrated the world over despite the pandemic. Palmer’s artistry and musicality will charm audiences. Palmer, a pianist, has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe since the early 1990s, as both a soloist and chamber musician. Chamber Music Amarillo was awarded second place in the 2017-18 Professional Division of the nationally recognized American Prize competition, which celebrates excellence in the arts. He also founded and served as artistic director of the Quartz Mountain Music Festival in Oklahoma from 2006-2011. From his work with Chamber Music Amarillo and the Quartz Mountain Music Festival, Palmer has gained an extensive knowledge on managing and performing in the musical arts, working with such artists as the Romero Guitar Quartet; renowned opera soprano Mary Jane Johnson; Montreal Symphony Orchestra Concert Master Richard Roberts; jazz musicians Bevan Manson, Lee Rucker, Kent Kidwell, Mark Little, and Jamie Davis; and a host of other noted artists.

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