Macon Cove Campus
5983 Macon Cove
Memphis, TN 38134-7693

Union Avenue Campus
737 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103-3322

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Gill Center

Millington Center

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901/333-STCC *

DATE: April 12, 2002
CONTACT: Calvin Burns, (901) 333-5338 or Marilyn Duncan (901) 333-4247

Southwest's Katz Releases CD, Piano Imagination

Dr. Steve Katz, Professor of Music at Southwest Tennessee Community College (Southwest), has released a new CD, Piano Imagination. Katz, a highly-respected faculty member and a internationally acclaimed pianist, describes the recording as "an eclectic compilation of piano music, ranging from classical to modern."

The CD is the first of two recorded by Katz for the HiWired label. The second, Piano Fire and Air will be released in 2003.

Piano Imagination contains some of Katz's most popular concert repertoire, including his own arrangement of Freddy Mercury's Bohemian Rhapsody, his interpretation on Liberace's version of Warsaw Concerto, and de Falla's Ritual Fire Dance. The CD contains 15 cuts in all.

The personable Katz said the CD is designed to provide beautiful music to individuals who enjoy listening to various kinds of music. It is also aimed at being an instructional piece for advanced piano students.

"Any piece of music can be beautiful if it's taken seriously by the performer," he said. "This CD shows the variety on piano without being overwhelming."

This impressive recording retails for $10.99 and is available at Southwest's bookstores on the Macon Cove Campus, 5983 Macon Cove, and the Union Avenue Campus, 737 Union Avenue. It is also available at Amro Music, 2918 Poplar. In addition, Follett Bookstore is offering a discount on the CD for Southwest employees.

A pianist since age eight, Katz suffered a severe hand injury in 1996 that curtailed his playing. The injury took years to rehabilitate, and the talented educator still selects his concert pieces carefully to ensure that he will not re-injure his hand.

Then in 2001, at age 50, Katz had the distinction of representing the United States at the 12th International Competition for Outstanding Piano Amateurs in Paris, France. He finished in the top 20 of the event, which featured 100 pianists from 28 countries. Since then, he has enjoyed a burgeoning concert career.

"I am just amazed to have been discovered and to be in demand," Katz observed. "And at my advanced age," he added while displaying a radiant smile.

This summer, Katz will perform a solo recital at Amro Auditorium based on Piano Imagination as well as others in out-of-state venues. The performance at Amro is set for 3 p.m., Sunday, June 9. In the fall he will offer solo recitals at the Macon Cove and Union Avenue campuses.

He has also been invited to teach a city-wide piano Master Class, based on Piano Imagination. The class will be offered from 12-2 p.m., Saturday, October 5, at Amro Music, which supported Katz's CD project.

Katz has taught at what is now the Macon Cove Campus of Southwest for 20 years. He teaches Music Appreciation. In addition to his classroom duties at Southwest, Katz coaches private piano students for competitions. He is especially proud of one of his students, Christy May, who as Miss Mississippi played the piano in the talent competition and placed third runner-up nationally in the 2001 Miss America Pageant.

Katz received his B.A. summa cum laude from Tulane University, his M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his doctorate from the University of Memphis. He received two graduate school fellowships, including an award encompassing 13 states for his doctoral dissertation.

Among his numerous honors and achievements are two distinguished teaching awards: The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development's National Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Farris Award for Outstanding Service to Southwest Tennessee Community College.

For more information about the Piano Imagination CD and upcoming concerts, call Southwest at (901) 333-4535, or visit the CD's website at

Southwest Tennessee Community College is a Tennessee Board of Regents institution.