2016 20th/21st-Century Piano Festival

Join us for Grand Valley State University’s 20th/21st-Century Piano Festival!

Saturday, October 22, 2016, Performing Arts Center, Sherman Van Solkema Recital Hall


  • This Festival is a celebration of 20th/21st-century piano music with performances throughout the day (each recital: 50 minutes). 
  • Students play in a supportive venue where families, teachers, and friends are invited to be part of the audience.
  • This year’s commissioned piece, Jammin’ at the Space Club, will be premiered, and the composer, Ed McLean, will be in residence to celebrate the occasion!



  • Pre-college students are eligible to participate.
  • Each student performs one piece from the 20th or 21st century.



  • You may register online at www.gvsu.edu/piano.  No paper registration will be accepted.
  • The registration fee is $12.00/student.  You may choose to pay online or send a check to GVSU (payable to GVSU Piano Festival; address - ATTN: Dr. Sookkyung Cho, 1 Campus Dr. 1228 PAC, Allendale, MI 49401)
  • Registration forms and fees are due by Friday, October 7, 2016.
  • All registrations will be processed in the order received.  The Festival board reserves the right to limit the number of participants in each category in order to fill each recital time and also not go over.
  • Each participant will choose four options for the recital time at the time of registration. Each recital will be 50 minutes long.
  • Repertoire changes are prohibited after students send in their registration forms.
  • Click here for Recommended Repertoire List. 
  • Students should bring the music with measures numbered (no photocopies, please).
  • All pieces must be memorized. An exception may be made in case of playing a work that uses experimental contemporary techniques.
  • All teachers of participants will receive an evaluation of the student’s performance by GVSU faculty.
  • Every participating student will receive a Certificate of Participation. Students who play in this festival for THREE years will be awarded a handsome trophy.
  • Questions? Please contact Dr. Sookkyung Cho at choso@gvsu.edu.



All performances will be in the Sherman Van Solkema Recital Hall, on a Steinway B grand piano.

Recital # 1                                                                                            10am-10:50am
Presentation by Ed McLean*:                                                                 11am-11:25am   (Room 1515)
    “Famous Composers Writing Music about Animals” (recommended for elementary level students; however, all are welcome to this entertaining session!)
Recital #2                                                                                             11:30am-12:20pm
Recital #3                                                                                             1pm-1:50pm
Recital #4                                                                                              2pm-2:50pm
Recital #5                                                                                              3pm-3:50pm

Recitals #2-5 include performances by GVSU students and/or the premiere of the commissioned piece, Jammin’ at the Space Club.

All performances are open to the public. Video Taping is strictly prohibited. Food and drink are not permitted in any GVSU concert hall. Photos may be taken after each recital.


* Edwin McLean is a composer/artist living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He is the Senior Editor of The FJH Music Company and has written over 200 educational piano publications for that company; his award-winning sonatas for harpsichord have been recorded and performed internationally.



When you register online, you will need the following information:

  1. Your name and contact information
  2. Your teacher’s name and contact information
  3. Preferred recital times
  4. Eligibility for a trophy
  5. Repertoire information: composer, title, length [The accurate length is extremely important for scheduling purposes. Please do not exceed 5 minutes in duration. If you are performing a piece that is longer than 5 minutes, please perform an excerpt from the piece. The Festival board may interrupt your performance after 5 minutes.]
  6. Payment method [If you choose to pay online, you will be directed to the online payment system.]
  7. For elementary school students: whether you would like to attend Ed McLean’s presentation.

Guest composer for the GVSU 20th/21st Century Piano Festival Oct. 22, 2016

Edwin McLean is a composer living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Krzysztof Penderecki and Jacob Druckman. He also holds a master’s degree in music theory and a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the University of Colorado.

Mr. McLean has authored over 200 publications for The FJH Music Company, ranging from The FJH Classic Music Dictionary to original works for pianists from beginner to advanced. His highly-acclaimed works for harpsichord have been performed internationally and are available on the Miami Bach Society recording, Edwin McLean: Sonatas for 1, 2, and 3 Harpsichords. His 2011 solo jazz piano album Don’t Say Goodbye includes many of his advanced works for piano published by FJH. Edwin McLean began his career as a professional arranger. Currently, he is senior editor for The FJH Music Company Inc.


Ted Goldman, "Tilk" (2015)

Commissioned by Grand Valley State University for its 20th/21st-Century Piano Festival in 2015.
Premiered by Grace Maust (Freshman pianist) and Dr. Sookkyung Cho (Faculty).

Page last modified September 22, 2016