The Creswell Chronicle -

By Gini Davis
The Creswell Chronicle 

Christmas Recital showcases local piano students


December 13, 2018

Photo Provided/ Josh Knudsen

Piano students who performed in Sunday's Christmas Recital featuring the students of local piano teachers Dave Stram and Hanna Shumate Knopp (included). (From left, top:) Sukey Brick, Diana Shumate, Jacque Robertson, Grant Marshall, Austin Gordon, Hanna Shumate Knopp, Dave Stram, Kimberlee Kelsey, James Rose and Truman Derminer. Lower: Audriahna Jones, Allie Marshall, Olivia Knudsen, Phoebe Knudsen, Emma Gordon, Elia Mendonca, Kaylin Seeley, Khloe Seeley, Julia Carpenter, Nicholas Pierron and Sarah Campbell.

The joy of the season rang in the air as piano teachers Dave Stram and Hanna Shumate Knopp held a combined Christmas Recital on Dec. 2 at Creswell Presbyterian Church.

"It was very special to me that this was a shared recital," Stram said, "and we are always privileged to hold our concerts at the Creswell Presbyterian Church, and appreciate Reverend Seth Wheeler and the congregation for allowing us to use their auditorium."

Shumate, who has taught flute and piano for about four years, has also been a student of Stram's – in part "to expand her musical genres," said Stram, who has been teaching piano for eight years. "But I think I'm more of an encouragement and a coach to her than a teacher. She'd had years of excellent musical training."

Three of Shumate Knopp's students - Nicholas Pierron, Julia Carpenter and Sukey Brick - performed. The other 16 student performers were Stram's. Performers ranged in age from six to 70, as six adults - including Stram and Shumate Knopp - also participated in the recital, which featured everything from holiday favorites to classics.

"My students enjoy playing a variety of musical genres," Stram said. "Some love Christmas songs and have been working hard this fall to prepare their pieces. Others enjoy classical numbers, popular songs and the blues, which take many months to learn and get recital-ready."

Phoebe Knudsen opened the youth program with "O Christmas Tree" and "Trepak," from "The Nutcracker."

Allie Marshall played "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer;" Pierron - a six-year-old who began lessons with Shumate Knopp in the spring - played "O Christmas Tree" and "Rodeo;" and Carpenter played "Jingle Bells" and "Silent Night."

Emma Gordon played "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas" as a duet with her dad, Austin Gordon, and then played "Deck the Halls."

"Emma started in June (at age 5) and is my youngest student, and her dad has only been taking lessons for two months," Stram said, adding that Emma was also the only youth performer making her recital debut.

Sarah Campbell played "O Christmas Tree" and "Jingle Bells;" Kaylin Seeley played "Run, Mouse, Run!" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas;" James Rose played "Jurassic Park" and "Reveille;" and Khloe Seeley played "Ode to Joy" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."

Audriahna Jones, who has been taking lessons from Stram for 4.5 years, played "When the Saints Go Marching In" and "Silent Night."

Kimberlee Kelsey played "Silent Night" and "Angels We Have Heard on High;" Truman Derminer performed "Ukrainian Bell Carol" and Bergmüller's "Arabesque;" and Elia Mendonca played "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Faithfully."

Olivia Knudsen played "Canon in D" and Ukrainian Bell Carol" and Grant Marshall closed the youth program with "Seventh Street Blues" and Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring."

"And now, I think you're in for a real treat," Stram announced. "I've never had adults in the recital, but this year it seemed I had more adult students, too - so just to encourage all you adults out there who've always thought that maybe, just maybe, you'd like to take piano lessons someday, I thought: Why not?"

Austin Gordon opened the adult program with "Go Tell It on the Mountain" and "We Three Kings." Diana Shumate performed "The First Noel," based on "Canon in D" and "Music Box Memory;" and Brick played Beethoven's "Für Elise" and "Jolly Old St. Nicholas"/"Pachelbel's Canon."

"During my years of formal training, I was fortunate to learn many different styles of music, and now offer my students that same opportunity," Stram said. "Members of the audience heard a great variety, including holiday favorites and great classics."

Shumate Knopp performed "Opening," from "Glassworks by Philip Glass" and Debussy's "Clair de Lune;" Stram performed "Winter Wonderland;" and Jacque Robertson closed the recital with Schubert's "Impromptu, Op. 142 No. 2" and "Silent Night."

"It was wonderful to see all the students playing the things that they enjoyed, and I was so proud of all of them for being brave and playing for their families," Shumate Knopp said. "The teachers are there to guide and encourage their students, but it is up to the students to put in the hard work and practice. Thank you, Dave for being so positive and encouraging, and thank you to all my students who make teaching so much fun."


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