Had a wonderful time last evening judging piano students for the Classical Kids chapter of the Missouri Federation of Music Clubs Festival! SO many talented youngsters playing SO WELL. Not to mention, the large number and quality of new, American compositions they played, which are required for this festival. Very clever pieces written by very talented composers in our country. Plus, of course, a lot of standard classical selections by great composers like Debussy, Beethoven, Chopin, Diabelli, Sibelius and many others. So rewarding to hear and see SO much musical talent performed SO well. It made for a very pleasant evening. Thanks to fellow piano teachers and Federation members, Sheila Ryerse, Betty Kusterer, and Sarah Walseth!
Happy New Year to one and all! I have good news to report. I have two new concert bookings in two cities around the country. On April 15, I will be performing in Cullman, Alabama, about a half hour north of Birmingham, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church. Also, on June 3, I have a concert scheduled for Danbury, Connecticut, at Immanuel Lutheran Church. Repertoire will include music of Bach, Chopin and Liszt at both concerts. In addition to these, I have a tentative agreement to play for the Chillicothe Arts Council, in Chillicothe, Missouri, in either December of 2018 or February of 2019. Looking forward to making great music in these fine US communities! Thanks for reading. Stay tuned!
Had a wonderful day listening to and judging piano students at the St. Louis Area Music Teacher's Association (SLAMTA-MMTA) Piano Auditions at St. Charles Community College (Missouri). Repertoire included everything from Scarlatti to Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy and Emma Lou Diemer and more! SLAMTA teachers are outstanding pedagogues, passing on the beauty and inspiration of our great musical heritage to the next generation. Congratulations to all those hard-working students!
My piano students played brilliantly today at the Chesterfield Piano Studio year-end Student Recital, held at the St. Louis Steinway Piano Gallery! In addition to wonderful piano selections by Bach, Heller, Bartok, Beethoven, Khatchaturian, Burgmuller and a host of other composers, we were treated to two organ selections performed by two of my multi-talented students who also play the organ. Their two pieces were: 'Christ lag in todes banden', by Samuel Scheidt - a first for this composer on my student recital programs!; and Prelude in F Major, by JS Bach. And, of course, yours truly performed Clair de lune, by Debussy, and the Heroic Polonaise, by Chopin. Thanks to the Steinway Gallery for the generous use of their recital hall and pianos - 7 foot, Model B's! And, thanks also to all the parents for encouraging your children to play the piano, and for your support and confidence in me as your teacher!
In addition to having 12 of my students performing at the Festival in St. Charles this Saturday, playing piano solos, organ solos and hymns, I will be judging (none of my own students, of course!) at this National Federation of Music Clubs Festival of the Virtuoso Chapter of Missouri. I will also judge at the Melody Makers Federation Festival on April 16 & 17 at Piano Distributors in Chesterfield, Missouri.
Later in April, I will perform a recital of classical repertoire at Brooking Park retirement community in Chesterfield. I've also booked a concert with the Keokuk Concert Association in Iowa for Tuesday, December 6, at 7:30 p.m. Looking forward to ALL these musical events!! ♫
YAY!! My first student (of 12 total) performed his two pieces yesterday, and nicely earned the top score: 'Superior'! His two selections were: 'Waltz in C minor', by Brooks-Turner, and the ever popular 'Arabesque', by Burgmuller. Congrats to NOAH!! He will get his very first gold trophy in a few weeks. My other 11 students will perform in early April, several of which are eligible to earn trophies, as well. ♫
Here's my ticket and program...
Got to attend a concert at the St. Louis Symphony last night, and took Mom along. They performed one of my favorite symphonic works, a phenomenal piece of music: 'Romeo and Juliet', by Hector Berlioz, conducted by my favorite SLSO Conductor, Maestro Leonard Slatkin. A marvelous evening!
Wow, recently stumbled upon this great NKC classic from the 50's. Such tender and sensitive words, music and orchestration by gentlemen of this era. Music unheard of today, for the most part. Waxing nostalgic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaYLWSo4fYM&feature=youtu.be
It was a great audience and great fun performing Bach and Chopin November 1st at the Hannibal Arts Council! Not to mention a beautiful day in Hannibal Missouri, home of Mark Twain. This is a superb and beautiful venue, to be sure, and Michael Gaines was a gracious and organized host. Thanks to him and the Hannibal Arts Council for a fun afternoon. (Just look at all the art going on there! And that's just one portion of one wall.) Thanks also to those generous sponsors and the Missouri Arts Council for underwriting the concert. Hannibal is a must see for all Missourians and Americans. Charming and delightful! ♫
Had a splendid time at two venues last week! First, on Tuesday, Oct. 13, was the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod International Center Chapel, which is kind of a Crystal Cathedral, of sorts. Beautiful view of the landscape, pond and I-44 outside, even though it was quiet and peaceful inside. Played once at 11:30am, and again at 12:30pm; two 30-minute performances on a beautiful Boston piano. Pics below of Rev. Dr. Jon Vieker, Senior Assistant to Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, President of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and me. Click on the pics for another pic.
On Thursday, Oct. 15, I had the privilege of playing for an intimate group of classical loving folks at the Willows of Brooking Park. A nice theater, stage and brilliant Baldwin grand piano. My program included: ‘Toccata & Fugue in D Minor’, BWV 565, by Bach-Busoni, ‘Sheep May Safely Graze’, by Bach-Petri, ‘English Suite No. 3 in G minor', BWV 808, by J. S. Bach, as well as works by Chopin including, Preludes, Op. 28, Nos. 1-12 and the Polonaise in A-flat Major, Op. 53 ‘Heroic’. Even played an encore: 'Witches Dance' by MacDowell. All in all, not a bad week makin' music! I'm a tad bright in the pics below, but alas no professional photographer nearby, and the spotlights were bright! But the stage was nicely decorated for Fall.
Tuesday, October 13th will be a busy day as I play two 30-minute concerts of Bach and Liszt at the beautiful International Center Chapel (see pic) of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. for our "good and faithful servants" of Christ there. The Chapel is all glass, much like the Crystal Cathedral.
Selections will include the English Suite in G minor, by Bach, and the Chorale arrangement of 'What God Ordains Is Always Good', which occurs at the end of Liszt's Variations on a theme from [Bach's Cantata] 'Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen', S. 180. After this, we will have some good, hearty singing of that hymn.
Prior to all of this, I will make a guest appearance on the KFUO radio program entitled "Law & Gospel", with host Rev. Tom Baker at 9:30am. This is a program that helps people understand and clarify the proper and necessary distinctions between Law and Gospel as they occur in the Bible, and as we apply them to our daily lives.
This theological, Christian doctrine is likely THE MOST misunderstood and misused doctrine in all of Christianity. When properly understood and applied, it helps us to understand the Bible, our relationship to God, our gracious salvation in Jesus Christ, and how to interpret reality the way God thinks. Learn more about this program at www.lawgospel.com.
If you live in the St. Louis area, tune your radio to AM 850. Or, you can tune in worldwide to stream the interview online.
Then, on Thursday, October 15, I get to perform for the lovely residents at the Willows of Brooking Park. This is a private engagement, but one I eagerly anticipate because they LOVE Classical Piano Music, and they have a marvelous Grand Piano in their fine acoustic Theater. Here I will play a variety of Bach and Chopin, and perhaps a 'Witch's Dance', by American composer, Edward MacDowell, in anticipation of HALLOWEEN! A busy, but fun, Fall week, to be sure!
Please check my schedule for other upcoming performances, and contact me with any questions. Cheers!
Heard some fantastic St. Louis area piano students (5th graders) today adjudicating for the St. Louis Area Music Teachers' Association at St. Charles Community College. They were all very talented, well prepared, and played some difficult music: Sonatinas, Sonatas, Toccatas, Preludes and a lot of character pieces like Cat and the Mouse by Aaron Copland. All in all a busy, but gratifying day in Music Land! ♫
I was truly honored and blessed to play at St. Paul Lutheran Church and School, Jackson Missouri last Sunday! This is one of the best venues I've ever played, and Matt Palisch was an extraordinary host, not to mention an outstanding organist and Director of Music! The piano was fabulous, and I enjoyed worshiping in their beautiful sanctuary. This is a wonderful part of our state, and I hope you get the chance to visit Jackson and St. Paul soon. Thanks again to Matt, Katie and St. Paul's for having me perform on their concert series!
The Fall Piano Semester has begun at Chesterfield Piano Studio, and all of my students are back playing the piano feverishly! But it's not too late for new students to begin. Phone or FB message me to get more information about piano lessons: 636-532-3931. And don't forget that research has shown that piano lessons help raise academic and IQ scores, and increase logic and concentration skills in students - not to mention that making music is FUN!!!! I look forward to hearing from you today! ~ Dr. Mark Laverty ♫
Great group of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Alumni musicians making great music at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. I performed Chopin's 'Heroic' Polonaise in A-flat major in honor of the many heroes of 9/11. It was a treat to perform on the gorgeous Steinway & Sons Concert D piano! Visit SIUE Music Department's Facebook page to see more photos.
I hope you can attend my concert this Sunday, September 20th at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Jackson, Missouri! I will perform selections by Bach and Liszt. Jackson is a short 2 hour drive from St. Louis, and a lovely town in southern Missouri. Hope to see you there! I will post my program on my FB page soon.
I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Labor Day. Hopefully you've have had a fun, relaxing weekend!
Coming up this Friday, September 11th, the Alumni of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will gather together to perform at the "Friends of Music Alumni Recital", 7:30pm in the Dunham Hall Theater. SIUE is my alma-mater, and it is indeed an honor to perform with this impressive group of talented musicians! This is a free performance, and all are welcome. There will be a reception after for SIUE Alumni. I'll be performing Polonaise in A-flat Major, Op. 53 ‘Heroic’, by Frederic Chopin.
On Sunday, September 20th, you'll find me at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Jackson, Missouri. I'll be offering a Bach and Liszt recital at 4:00pm. The performance is free and open to all! (You could make a day of it, joining them for worship in the morning then return later for the concert!)
Be sure to stop by and say hello, and check my schedule for more upcoming events.
I had a great time playing at the Tavern of Fine Arts last night, playing Bach and Liszt. The audience was great, as were the food and drink by my generous host. My next recital will be hosted by Brooking Park in Chesterfield on September 11th at 2:00 pm. I hope you can join me! I've also added more venues on my schedule page.
Here are highlights from my performance last night:
Toccata & Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565, “Sheep May Safely Graze”, Fantasy in C Minor, BWV906, Arioso, from the Klavier Concerto in F Minor, BWV 1056, 2nd mvmt., English Suite No. 3 in G minor, BWV 808
Funerailles, Waldesrauchen (Forest murmers), Gnomenreigen (Dance of the Gnomes), Liebestraum No. 3, La Campanella
♫ Played for a enthusiastic and fun audience at Brooking Park in Chesterfield last Friday, June 12. Since Flag Day was this past weekend, I performed several patriotic tunes, including the National Anthem, 'America the Beautiful' and 'You're a Grand Old Flag'. In addition, I played a number of classical pieces by Bach, Mozart, Debussy and Liszt.