2018 High School Piano Day

Join Us for GVSU’s High School Piano Day on Friday, April 6, 2018!

HSPD pictures

Wondering how you can continue to involve music in your life at college?  Thinking about majoring, double-majoring, or minoring in music?  Want to be a better pianist?

Join Us for GVSU’s High School Piano Day on Friday, April 6, 2018!

Registration Form is available HERE and is due on March 19.


Schedule (subject to change)
8-9am    Breakfast and Musical Trivia Game
9-9:30am    Dr. Cho’s Solo Performance
9:35-10:20am    Solo Piano Masterclass with Dr. Cho
        (Please submit a video-recording of your performance if you’d like to play.)
10:25-11:10am    Piano Pedagogy Masterclass with Dr. Marlais
11:15am-12pm    Collaborative Piano Class with Prof. Byrens
        (Please sign up to play; we will send you a two-page piece to learn.)
12pm-12:50pm    GVSU Student Recital Hour Performances
1-1:45pm     Lunch
1:45-2:30pm    Sight-Reading Class with Mr. Austell
2:35-3:20pm    Clavichord and Harpsichord Class with Dr. Crowell
        (Bring your Baroque/Early Classical pieces to try on these instruments!)
3:25-3:55pm    Panel Discussion with Current Students and Alum
4-5pm    Final Performance by Participants
        (Please submit a video-recording of your performance if you’d like to play.)

Questions? Contact Dr. Cho at choso@gvsu.edu.

Solo Piano Masterclass
Noted for her “sensitive and imaginative” (New York Concert Review) playing, Korean-born pianist Sookkyung Cho has appeared in venues such as Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, Sarasota Opera House, Baltimore Museum of Art, Montreal Conservatory, Beaux concerts de la releve in Quebec, Château de Fontainebleau in France, and Zijingang Theater at Zhejiang University in China.  A founding member of the New York-based Almava trio, she has also been featured in major music festivals including Yellow Barn, Norfolk, and Sarasota, and was a Performing Associate at Bowdoin International Music Festival.  She earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Juilliard, where she was honored with John Erskine Graduation Prize for an exceptional level of scholastic and artistic achievement, and a Master of Music degree from Peabody as a full graduate assistantship recipient, where she also received Grace Clagett Ranney Prize in Chamber Music.  She earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Juilliard as a C. V. Starr Doctoral Fellow, where she also taught as a teaching fellow both in Piano Minor and Literature and Materials departments.  Before coming to Grand Valley State University in 2015, she taught at New England Conservatory Preparatory School and Johns Hopkins University.  During the summer, she is also on faculty at InterHarmony Music Festival in Italy and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan.  For more information and YouTube videos, visit www.sookkyungcho.com.

Piano Pedagogy Masterclass
Dr. Helen Marlais’ dual career as a teacher and performer has taken her through 42 states and 6 Canadian provinces and on extensive international tours to Italy, England, France, Spain, Hungary, Turkey, Germany, Austria, Lithuania, Estonia, China, S. Korea, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and Russia.
           As a prolific author of educational piano books, her publications with The FJH Music Company are used throughout the English-speaking world and have been translated into Korean, Taiwanese, and Chinese.  About her collaborative playing, FonoForum, one of Europe’s leading classical music magazines, writes: “Seldom has one so clearly observed the bubbling substructure of the piano part of Schumann’s Fantasy Pieces Op. 73 and, thereby, seldom have the Schumann pieces been played so elegantly and delicately.”  They continue with: “Campbell’s and Marlais’ playing is always exact, elegant, without excess. The beauty of this genuinely joint playing is so engaging that it seems to lack for nothing.”  Marlais has premiered many new works by composers from the Unites States, Canada, and Europe.  This same recording with clarinetist Arthur Campbell was nominated for the 2013 International Classical Music Awards.  Dr. Marlais is in great demand as a teacher of teachers and is pleased to announce the new Piano Pedagogy Certificate at GVSU.

Collaborative Piano Class
Robert Byrens is one of the region’s finest collaborative pianists.  He is sought after as a vocal and instrumental partner and has performed well over a thousand programs in his forty plus years as a concert artist.  His playing has been described as “beautifully expressive” with a “singing tone” and “impeccable articulation.”  He joined the faculty of Grand Valley State University in 1990, where he currently serves as an artist faculty pianist and vocal coach.   He is the rehearsal pianist and vocal coach for Opera Grand Rapids, a position he has held since 1994.   He has recently partnered with cellist Nancy Steltmann to form Il Duo Lirico.
    Robert began his musical training as the soprano soloist for the American Boychoir School from 1970 – 1973.   He continued his studies at Olivet College (BA in piano performance, summa cum laude), Western Michigan University, and Indiana University at South Bend.   He was invited to attend the Geneva Conservatory to study collaborative piano and vocal repertoire with Dalton Baldwin and Gerard Souzay in June and July of 1979.   His summer music festivals include the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck  (Co-Artistic Director and performer),  Westminster Choir College Art Song Workshops, Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute, Fontana Chamber Arts, Blossom Festival, and Garth Newel Music Festival.
    Mr. Byrens has worked with many renowned musicians during the course of his musical life journey.  His principle teachers include Dalton Baldwin, Ivan Frazier, and Ronald Gorevic.  Additionally, he has performed in vocal masterclasses for  Phyllis Curtin, Elly Ameling, Gerard Souzay, William Parker, Jessye Norman, Martin Katz, and Robert Spillman.  He has performed in training orchestras with Leonard Bernstein, Daniel Lewis, Herbert Blomstedt, Neville Marriner, and Andrew Parrot.  As a former professional symphony violist, his conductor roster includes David Lockington, Catherine Comet, Kenneth Kiesler, William Stein, Yoshimi Tekada, A. Clyde Roller, and Gustav Meier.   

Sight-Reading Class
Connor Austell, from South Haven, Michigan, studied with Giuseppe Lupis and Sookkyung Cho at Grand Valley State University and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Piano Performance at the University of Michigan as a student of Arthur Greene.  He enjoys performing piano repertoire from every era, and also has a keen interest in musicology and piano literature. 
            Connor has performed in masterclasses with Boris Slutsky (Peabody Conservatory), Martin Katz (University of Michigan), Christopher Harding (University of Michigan), Spencer Myer (Longy School of Music), Esther Park (East Tennessee State University) and Alexandra Mascolo-David (Central Michigan University), and appeared on such stages as Grand Rapids’ St. Cecilia Music Center and the University of Michigan’s Britten Recital Hall.  In 2016, Connor won first place in the Collegiate Division at the Grand Rapids Bach Festival’s Creative Keyboards Young Artists Competition.  In his free time, Connor enjoys attending concerts, visiting museums, reading, and playing other instruments such as guitar and percussion.

Harpsichord/Clavichord Class
Gregory Crowell is Senior Affiliate Professor of Music and University Organist at Grand Valley State University.
             He has appeared as organist, harpsichordist, clavichordist, lecturer, and conductor in Germany, Holland, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Canada, and the United States. He has performed in many international festivals and conventions, including the Boston Early Music Festival, the Saugatuck Chamber Music Festival, and the Fontana Chamber Music Festival. Particularly noted for his performances of the keyboard works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Crowell has been a featured performer at the Weener (Germany) International Bach Series, the Grand Rapids Bach Festival, the Old West Organ Society (Boston) Bach Marathon, the Valparaiso Bach Institute, and the Tokyo Bach Organ Festival. Recent appearances include solo recitals at Cornell University, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the National Music Museum, and the Grassi Museum in Leipzig, Germany.
          Broadcasts of Gregory Crowell’s performances have been heard on WCRB Boston, WGUC in Cincinnati, WFMT Chicago, Northwest German Radio, Belgian Public Radio, WBLU in Grand Rapids, WMUK in Kalamazoo, and NPM’s Pipedreams. His compact disc recordings include live organ performances on the OHS label, and, with hornist Paul Austin, the critically acclaimed compact disc Moons and Ancestors: The Music of Robert Shechtman.