BOAZ – The annual Gerhart Music Festival at Snead State Community College concludes with the Gerhart Concert on Sunday, Oct. 29. The concert featuring the Gerhart Quartet begins at 2 p.m. in Fielder Auditorium, located in the Administration Building on the Boaz campus.
The Gerhart musicians – Michael Davis, violin, Jeffrey Cohen, piano, Bion Tsang, cello, and Wayne Roden, viola – kicked off the Gerhart Music Festival on Thursday, Oct. 26. The group led Convocation and Music Appreciation classes during the day. The musicians then performed with the Boaz Intermediate School Honor Choir, directed by Miriam Richey, and two student solo performers, Felicity Rowe and Curtis Richey, during the Gerhart Youth Concert Thursday evening.
Davis serves as the artistic director of the Gerhart Music Festival and is a former Concertmaster for the Louisville Orchestra. A native of Albertville, Davis began studying violin at age 7, and his first music teacher was the late Russell Gerhart, a conductor for the Huntsville Symphony and for whom the music festival is named. Featured in numerous chamber music and orchestral recordings, Davis has two solo albums, Emmanuel and Amazing Grace. He has given concerts in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center and has concertized in both Europe and Asia. He has been a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and has served on the violin faculties at the University of Louisville, Campbellsville University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his family currently reside in Colorado.
Cohen is a piano professor and member of the Artist Faculty at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where he currently serves as coordinator of Piano Master Classes and Competitions. Both as a soloist and chamber musician, his performances have taken him to three different continents, and his recitals include appearances for The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Merkin Concert Hall, Bargemusic, the Phillips Collection, and Mostly Music Series of Chicago. The Tucson native currently serves on the summer faculties of the MusicAlp International Academy of Music in France, Duxbury Music Festival and the Beijing International Music Festival and Academy. He has given Master Classes at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, the Central Conservatory in Beijing, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau, and throughout Korea and Taiwan.
Roden became the new viola instructor at Sonoma State University and plays viola for the San Francisco Symphony. The Auburn native began studying the viola at the age of 8. He attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied violin, viola, and chamber music with members of the Claremont Quartet. After receiving his Bachelor of Music degree in 1970, he joined the Strolling Strings of the United States Army Band, playing frequently at the White House. He was a soloist with the U.S. Army Chamber Orchestra at the National Academy of Science in Washington, D.C. Roden has played chamber music festivals in Telluride, Colo., and the Laurel Festival in Pennsylvania.
Tsang resides in Texas, where he is on the faculty at the UT Butler School of Music. His chamber music career is a distinguished one, marked by collaborations with such artists as violinists Pamela Frank, Jaime Laredo, Cho-Liang Lin, Anne Akiko Meyers, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, bassist Gary Karr and pianist Leon Fleisher. He has been a frequent guest artist of organizations including the Boston Chamber Music Society, Brooklyn Chamber Music Society, and the Chamber Music International of Dallas. He has toured with pianist Anton Nel in such venues as Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall and Jordan Hall in Boston.
Students from various locations throughout the state will participate in a Master Class with the Gerhart musicians on Saturday, Oct. 22.
A unique part of the Gerhart Festival will be an Alexander Technique Seminar, led by Snead State’s Music Program Director Dr. Barbara Hudson. Certified by Alexander Technique International, Dr. Hudson will guide participants through various techniques that can be incorporated into everyday activities and alleviate difficulties participants may have with neck, back and muscle pain, posture, and breathing. The Alexander Technique Seminar will also be held on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 1:30 p.m. in the Administration Building.
Sunday’s concert concludes the annual event. The community is invited to attend. Admission is free. For more information, visit snead.edu/gerhart.