Piano Master Class and Concert
Piano students who want to take a master class with Jessica Paul, Ph.D of Musical Arts. at the Cinema in Spring Grove, MN should register before April 15. The Master class will be offered from 4:30 until 6PM on Thursday, April 24.
To register, students need to provide their name and age, the title of the work to be performed and a $5.00 check made payable to Giants of the Earth Heritage Center, and mail to PO Box 241 at Spring Grove, 55974.
Each student must have the piece memorized, and bring an original copy of the music for Dr. Paul. The student’s parent must approve of their child being video-recorded by Giants of the Earth and that form will be provided to parents upon receiving registration.
Jessica Paul, a native of Chicago, holds a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from Northwestern University, where she studied with pianist and vocal coach Laurence Davis. Ms. Paul went on to the University of Illinois as a student of John Wustman, eventually earning the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in vocal coaching and accompanying. She is frequently engaged as a collaborative pianist and guest clinician, and she has worked with such opera companies as the Pittsburgh Opera Theatre, Opera Theatre of Illinois, National Opera Company, Cleveland Opera Theatre, Virginia Opera Association, Lake George Opera Festival, Cedar Rapids Opera, and Pine Mountain Music Festival. She is the former Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Dorian Opera Theatre and is currently Professor of Music at Luther College as vocal coach, collaborative pianist, and teacher of accompanying. On-going research projects include the study of art song of Lithuania and the vocal works of women composers, specifically twentieth century American composers.
At 7PM, also at the Cinema Dr. Michael and Bonnie Jorgensen are presenting a program that will be of interest to all.
In 2013 Bonnie and Michael Jorgensen visited Spring Grove and presented the life and music of first-generation Norwegian-American composer Theodora Cormontan (1840-1922). Now they are returning for an expanded presentation on Thursday, April 24 at 7 pm at the Spring Grove Cinema.
In 2011 the Jorgensens rediscovered over 150 original handwritten manuscripts by Theodora Cormontan, one of the first Norwegian women to have her classical compositions published and widely performed, and the first woman to own and operate her own music publishing business in Norway. On April 24 the Jorgensens will recap Theodora’s story and share some of the music they performed before as well as some they did not.
This time, reflecting new research since last year, Bonnie and Michael will offer a special focus on Theodora the music teacher. Cormontan offered lessons in piano, voice, and organ from the 1890’s to the 1910’s in several towns in south central and southwestern Minnesota. Contemporary newspapers described her as “an excellent teacher in vocal as well as instrumental music” and “a music teacher of superior merit.” Bonnie and Michael will provide some insights into what it was like to teach music in this era and will consider a few of Theodora’s students. The couple will also look at the work of Theodora’s niece Alpha Hirsch Lienhard, a contemporary of Cormontan’s who taught piano in New Ulm in the 1890’s. Numerous pictures will accompany the lecture and music, providing a unique look at the music teaching profession in Minnesota over 100 years ago.
Dr. Michael Jorgensen’s recent performances include presentations with Bonnie Jorgensen on the life and music of Norwegian-American composer Theodora Cormontan (1840-1922) at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota; and at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
Additional recent activity includes him as the bass soloist in Rossini’s “Petite messe solennelle” for the Tucson, Arizona Desert Song Festival
Bonnie is a collaborative pianist in St Peter. You can see her on You Tube in a video called
The Evening Sentiments.
Although there is no admission fee, a free will donation will be accepted.
There is a reception following the performance at the Heritage Center for all attendees.