For the Love of Music, A Valentine’s Day Concert

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 21, 2016

Dr. Renee McCathren, pianist and Christina Pier, soprano

Dr. Renee McCathren, pianist and Christina Pier, soprano

by Betsy Mowery

Catawba College Public Relations Associate 

Sunday’s frigid temperature was the perfect backdrop for Finnish composer and ’87 Catawba College alumna, Pauliina Isomäki’s Valentine’s Day concert in the Omwake-Dearborn Chapel at Catawba. The highlight of the concert was a world premiere of Källskärin Hermes, which was commissioned by the college. The statue of Hermes on the island of Källskär in the Baltic Sea became the inspiration for the composition which was written for piano, two trumpets, trombone and French horn. Each of the four movements evoked some aspect of the island’s harsh environment.

Isomaki earned her degree in music at Catawba, having studied with Dorothy Lewis-Griffith under an Adrian L. Shuford Jr. scholarship. She earned her master’s degree at the Åbo Akademi in Finland. She lives on the southwestern coast of Finland with her family and enjoys choral singing and sailing.

Musical performers at the concert were Dorothy Lewis-Griffith (piano), Dr. Renee McCathren (piano), Chris Fensom (trumpet), Luke Boudreault (trumpet), Frank Merritt (horn), Chris Ferguson (trombone), Christina Pier (soprano), and the Catawba Singers under the direction of Dr. Phillip Burgess.

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