Southwest Tennessee Community College

JULY 8, 2004

CONTACTS: Kimberly Stark, (901) 333-4023 -- Pat O'Brien, (901) 333-4021

Perfect Storm blowing up in the Studio:

A few good students and their teacher are set on playing their hearts out Sunday, July 18, to raise funds for Southwest's Piano Excellence scholarship endowment.

The concert, the "Perfect Storm" on anniversary day plus 1 of last year's massive natural blowout brings together a "block party" of musical motifs, munchies in surprising modes, and a very un-silent auction of items of a scattered-on-the-wind variety.

The concert will be at 2 p.m. at AMRO Auditorium, 2918 Poplar. Admission is $5 to benefit the Scholarship Fund "or you can double that and receive one CD, with the entire amount going to the fund," said Dr. Steve Katz, professor of music in the Fine Arts, Languages and Literature department at Southwest, and an international concert pianist. Both his CDs, "Piano Imagination" and "Fire and Air," will be available for purchase with all proceeds for the scholarship fund.

Dr. Katz will play, as will Burke Martin and Glenda McCuddy, both piano scholarship recipients for Fall 2004; and Bill Ashabranner, Spring 2004 scholarship holder. The variety of selections listeners can expect is illustrated in each pianist's personal favorite choice added to the mix: The jaunty "New York, New York" by Kander and Ebb (Ashabranner); the high-energy "Toccata" by Aram Khachaturian (Martin); the stunning "Prelude to the First Modern Suite 1910" by Edward McDowell (Dr. Katz); and the hauntingly sweet piano version of an aria from "Rigoletto" (McCuddy).

Auctioneers will be Kay Rudicill and Marilyn Califf, both art appreciation students of Dr. Katz. Califf, well-known painter and adjunct professor of art at Southwest is donating one of her own paintings for the auction. Refreshments always a high point of Southwest-AMRO concerts and recitals, will be supervised by Fine Arts, Languages and Literature instructor Pat Ward.

The Steve Katz/AMRO Music Southwest Tennessee Community College Piano Excellence Scholarship Fund is a longtime dream for Katz. "Our goal is raise enough eventually to fully fund an endowment, to make it self-sustaining and permanent," said Dr. Katz. The venture is a joint one of Dr. Katz and Rick Jefferies of AMRO Music Stores. "We actually got it off the ground in Fall 2002. Donna Dixon, also of AMRO, and Michele Walker Fine of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra assist in auditioning students for scholarships." To date, 9 scholarships have been awarded.