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June 10, 2011

U of M School of Music Super Fan of the Week: Sharon Johnson

Sharon Johnson.jpgIt's time for the first installment of our new weekly U of M School of Music Super Fan feature on Facebook and beyond! Who are SOM Super Fans? SOM alumni, students, faculty, and staff who are the fabric of our musical community. U of M Super Fan Friday will help us to get know each other and have a lot of fun in the process. Follow the SOM on Facebook to find out how you can become a SOM Super Fan. Without further ado, let's meet this week's SOM SUPER FAN!

Sharon Johnson, D.M.A. (2008), Collaborative Piano, student of Margo Garrett, Karl Paulnack, and Tim Lovelace

1. Where are you currently working (state, employer) or where is a favorite place where you have worked in the past?
I have just completed my 7th year as a faculty member (Assistant Professor of Piano and Coordinator of Collaborative Piano) of the Greatbatch School of Music at Houghton College in upstate New York. I teach piano, collaborative piano, practical keyboard, coach singers/instrumentalists, perform/travel with my colleagues, coach the chapel house band. As well, I have a professional two piano team with my best friend, Nancy Davis; collectively we are known as Music By Two.

2. Where are you originally from (hometown)?
Mt. Airy, North Carolina

3. What was the last live performance that blew you away?
The concert was given by one of my colleagues at Houghton College, William Newbrough (pianist). He performed a "Franz Liszt Bicentennial Concert" in April--I was particularly moved by his performance of one of the Petrarca Sonettos, and the "Benediction" from the Harmonies poetiques et religieuses.

4. Do you keep in touch with your U of M School of Music classmates and/or faculty mentor?
I keep in touch with a number of my classmates from the U--particularly through Facebook, as well as my mentor via email and phone.

5. What's your favorite thing about the U of M School of Music?
How can I choose just one? Honestly, there are so many things I love about my time at the U; that said, I found the collaborative nature of the faculty to be an incredible encouragement--their attitude was always that of "participate with me on an equal level in this musical adventure of performance and learning." I had the wonderful opportunity both to perform with faculty on their recitals, and to have them perform with me on my recitals. There's nothing like collaborative learning with those skilled in their art.

6. Name your favorite musical moment at the U of M School of Music?
Again, how can I choose just one? A true highlight for me was being asked by Glenda Maurice to accompany the Ted Mann Vocal Quartet. Of our many performances, my two favorites were for Minnesota Public Radio and the Schubert Club Courtroom Concert Series.

7. Where was your favorite place to eat/hang out on campus?
The Asian restaurant--the name eludes me now--across from Mapps Coffee and Tea (another favorite spot!).

8. What phrase do you still hear your mentor repeating over your shoulder?
Margo Garrett saying "more left hand!"

9. What's most frequently on your playlist?
Maurice Ravel, Libby Larsen, Frederic Chopin, Sarah Vaughan, Diana Krall, Astor Piazzolla--very eclectic☺

10. What are the first three things that come to mind when someone mentions Minnesota?
Lakes, the Weisman Museum, and Caribou Coffee.


June 6, 2011

Ostinato: Faculty Scribes, Alums Win Big & Summer at the SOM!

Read the current issue of Ostinato (June 6, 2011): Faculty Scribes, Alums Win Big & Summer at the SOM!