The keyboard area at UWEC provides valuable opportunities for students in solo performance, chamber music and accompanying. A specialized array of courses includes piano literature, piano pedagogy, accompanying and piano ensemble.
Beyond the piano, students have opportunities to play the harpsichord in a Baroque chamber orchestra and to pursue an interest in organ with regular access to a unique Aeolian Skinner organ in the main concert hall. Students regularly gain experience accompanying for student lessons and recitals, as well as rehearsals for operas, musicals, choirs, jazz bands and more. Students have access to Steinways in the performance halls, practice rooms with grand pianos, a harpsichord and two practice organs.
Highly trained faculty who are active performers and scholars provide all piano students with weekly individual lessons and a studio class in which students perform for one another and offer critiques to their peers. Faculty serve as active mentors in faculty-student research projects with topics that range from the biography of Beethoven to the challenges of performing Britten's pieces. Guest pianists from across the country are regularly invited to perform and provide masterclasses for students. Recent graduates have gone on to teach in the schools, to open private studios, to pursue degrees at top graduate programs, to conduct Broadway productions, to serve as accompanists for opera companies and more.
From accompanying professional musicians to playing in jazz bands and conducting operas and musicals, I have had experiences here that have not only shaped me as a musician but as a human being as well.