Young Musicians Learn Techniques at Master Class by Awadagin Pratt

October 1, 2012

The new Steinway Concert grand piano in Marian Anderson Music Center got a delightful workout on Monday afternoon.  Young musicians from West Chester, Lincoln and Cheyney Universities, and Westtown School each came prepared  and were ready to play a specially selected piece at a Master Class under the direction of pianist Awadagin Pratt. 

Cheyney University sophomore Christian Beard of Philadelphia, played Piano Sonata Op. 109 by Beethoven.  While Beard has played the piano since he was a child, he just began receiving instruction in piano performance and classical music from Professor Toni Hall when he enrolled at Cheyney University in the fall of 2010.

John Kline, a senior at West Chester University from Pottstown PA, was accompanied by West Chester University music professor Patricia Powell.  He performed Ballade No. 3 in A-flat major, Op. 47 by Chopin.


Denzel Garrick, a high school senior at Doane Academy in Burlington, New Jersey, played Ballade No. 3 in A-flat major, Op. 47 by Chopin.  Junda Shu, a senior from Yanti, China, performed Valse Oublee by Liszt. Shu has attended Westtown School for the past four years.  Another Westtown student, Chenqinwen Wang, also from China, played Jardins sous la pluie by Debussy.   Sara Duffey, music teacher and Linda Child, music department head, accompanied the Westtown students.

Pianist Pratt critiqued the performances of the young pianists, pointing out nuances of the music and making helpful suggestions.  Using a yellow pencil to follow the score, humming primary themes with his melodic voice, and making technical suggestions about keyboard and pedal techniques, Pratt pointed out attributes of each piece performance.  He encouraged them to “keep your ear out for the tune.”

Mr. Pratt will perform on Tuesday, October 2 at 7:30 pm in the Marian Anderson Music Center. Tickets are available.