Firehouse Piano Series
Jeanette Ojala and Amelia Nye on Friday, March 1st at 7:30pm. View the Program.
About the Firehouse Piano Series:
The Firehouse Piano Series is an off-campus performance series sponsored by the Western Washington University Department of Music for the benefit of its piano students and for the Bellingham community. The idea for the series began when a private donor wrote to Dan Guyette, the Dean of the College of Fine and Performing Arts, in early 2011. In his letter he praised the high caliber of the Sanford-Hill Piano Series, and the high level of playing demonstrated by Western’s piano students during the Sanford-Hill master classes. The anonymous donor, whose interests include writing, painting, photography, and piano, offered to sponsor a piano series at the Firehouse in Fairhaven to encourage talented Western pianists. It was his vision that the students would take home all of the profits generated from ticket sales, in addition to an honorarium from him, so as to provide them with an income while still students at Western.
During the first season, Firehouse piano recitals were presented either by one pianist per event, or shared by two pianists. The Firehouse owns a beautiful Steinway grand piano which was utilized for each of the concerts. In addition to the student performers, Western’s collegiate chapter of the Music Teachers National Association attended the events and provided refreshments in the form of a bake sale to support MTNA student endeavors. All expectations regarding audience turnout were surpassed in the first season with each of the three recitals selling out.
The donor, with the added gracious support of his daughter as co-donor, has agreed to continue the Firehouse Piano Series into its second season. Pianist Ilya Itin, who performed as part of the Sanford-Hill Piano Series in 2011, wrote: “I am so glad you have a performance series that features the students. What a wonderful opportunity for them!”