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Sept. 14, 2012
CONTACT: K. E. Schwab

SRU concert benefits Baker Scholarship

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The musical topic will be "Haydn to Higdon" when Slippery Rock University's music department stages its annual concert to benefit the Dwight and Jeane Baker Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The 4 p.m., Sept. 30, concert at Swope Music Hall will feature the Slippery Rock Piano Trio, comprised of Warren Davidson, assistant professor of music on violin, Paige Riggs, instructor on cello, and Nanette Kaplan Solomon, professor, on piano.

Oboist Renate Sakins, SRU music instructor, will be the guest artist.

Sakins, a freelance oboist, is a member of the Renaissance City Winds, principal oboist with the Westmoreland Symphony, and second oboist with the Akron Symphony. She has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Columbus Symphony and many other regional ensembles.

As a soloist, she has been featured on WQED's "Performance in Pittsburgh," and has performed at the Blossom and Cape May music festivals. She has toured in Canada, Japan and throughout Europe.

She also teaches at Pittsburgh's Center for the Musically Talented and maintains a private teaching studio.

She earned her bachelor's degree in music at Temple University and attended Carnegie Mellon University's in master of music degree program.

The benefit concert will include "Trio in G Major" ("Gypsy Rondo"), by Joseph Haydn; "Duo Sonata for Oboe and Cello," by Joao Guilherme Ripper; "Pale Yellow," by Jennifer Higdon; and "Trio in D Minor, op. 49," by Felix Mendelssohn.

Solomon performs frequently as soloist and chamber musician. She has presented lecture-recitals at the College Music Society national meetings in San Diego, Savannah, Cleveland, San Juan, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, and Quebec City and has performed at international conferences in Berlin, Vienna, Kyoto, Limerick, Costa Rica and Madrid.

Her involvement with the works of women composers has led to invitations to perform at several feminist theory and music conferences, including the American Music/American Women Symposium in Boulder, Colo., the Athena Festival in Murray. Ky., and at six International Festivals of Women Composers conferences at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has been a soloist with orchestras in Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and a featured artist with the Butler, Youngstown (Ohio) and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras.

Solomon has also performed at the Phillips Collection and the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., Wigmore Hall in London, the Lincoln Center Library in New York City, and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. A former board member for performance of the College Music Society, she also served on the editorial board of the American Music Teacher. She recently completed a term as board member of the IAWM and is currently president of the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association.

She has produced three compact discs.

Solomon received her early training as a scholarship student at the Juilliard School. She received a bachelor of arts degree from Yale College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, a master of music from the Yale School of Music and a D.M.A. from Boston University.

Riggs, who joined the SRU faculty in 2009, grew up near Boston and moved to Pittsburgh in 2002. She earned degrees from the Eastman School of Music, Indiana University-Bloomington and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she earned her doctorate of musical arts in 2000.

She has served on the music faculties at the University of Virginia and Lawrence University. She has been principal cellist and soloist at the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival since 1999, and performed and taught for many years at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, N.C.

She has been a guest artist at numerous music festivals and concert series, including the Music on the Edge Series in Pittsburgh, the Foothills Music Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., the Garth Newel Music Festival in Warm Springs, Va., the June in Buffalo Festival in Buffalo, N.Y., and the Embassy Concert Series in Washington, D.C.

While a student, she received fellowships from the Spoleto Music Festival, the Bach Aria Festival and the Tanglewood Music Center. She has performed as the principal cellist of the Pittsburgh Ballet Orchestra and currently serves in that position in the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra and the McKeesport Symphony.

Davidson conducts the Slippery Rock University Symphony Orchestra and teaches violin and viola. He earned his bachelor of arts in philosophy and psychology at Duquesne University before turning to full-time violin study.

He completed his master of music degree in violin at Duquesne, his master of arts in theory and composition at the University of Pittsburgh, a certificate of advanced studies in chamber music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and earned a doctor of musical arts degree from West Virginia University where he was granted a Swiger Fellowship. Davidson is very active as an orchestral concertmaster, recitalist and teacher.

He is also music director of the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra.

All concert proceeds benefit the Dwight and Jeane Baker Memorial Scholarship Fund, which annually grants an award to an incoming string or piano major. The Bakers, who retired in 1983 from SRU's music department, were long-time devoted faculty members.

The suggested minimum donation is $10 for adults and $5 for students. Contributions above that amount are tax deductible.

For reservations or further information, call 724.738.2063.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.