Students present ‘Piano Area Recital’

On April 11, students of Southern Utah University’s piano studio performed their recital in Thorley Hall. The program consisted of major works for piano by notable composers, from Beethoven and Mozart to Jon Schmidt of The Piano Guys. 

The program began with “Waterfall” by Jon Schmidt, performed by Lindsey Mickelson. Written when Schmidt was 17, the piece is one of his earliest works and captures the cascading feeling of a waterfall with its repetitive rhythms in the right hand. 

“Sonata in F Minor, K 239” by Domenico Scarlatti was next on the program, performed by Abigayle Nelson. Scarlatti was an Italian composer known mostly for his keyboard sonatas, having composed over 500.

After a few more performances, Kennie Lewis took the stage to perform his arrangement of “Just Friends” by John Klenner. The piece was written in 1931 and is considered a jazz standard. Originally written to include vocals and other instruments, Lewis’ arrangement adapted it for solo piano.

Kipper Roach followed with the first movement of “Sonata in C Major, op. 2, no. 3,” and Megan Lind performed the second movement of “Sonata in F-sharp Major, op. 78.” Both pieces were composed by Beethoven.

“My favorite part [of the sonata] is the broken octaves,” said Roach. Broken octaves are a piano technique in which the performer rapidly alternates between two notes at each end of an octave, creating a type of trill. “Having to memorize everything [is difficult] because it is so long.” 

The recital concluded with the first movement of Maurice Ravel’s “Concerto in G Major,” performed by Bridger Ivie as the soloist and Christian Bohnenstengel playing the orchestral reduction. Composed between 1929 and 1931, it is Ravel’s penultimate composition and one of his two piano concertos. The first movement, titled “Allegramente,” contains a lively melody influenced by several cultures, such as those from Spain and the Basque Country, and concludes with descending triads. 

The performance was livestreamed and can be viewed here. For information regarding future music department events, consult their website

Story and photos by: Gracie Butterfield