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2/7/2003 Linfield pianists to offer trio of upcoming events

McMINNVILLE ? Three Linfield College piano performances will spotlight students, faculty and an alumna in February.

All performances will be in Melrose Auditorium, with receptions following in Jonasson Hall, lower level of Melrose Hall. The concerts are free and open to the public.

Molly Wheeler, a 1997 Linfield graduate, will present a recital Friday, Feb. 21, at 8 p.m. She will perform works by Haydn, Schubert, Ravel and Prokofiev. Wheeler earned a bachelor's degree in music with a concentration in piano performance. As a student, she teamed up with classmate Molly Nichols as a four-hand duo, "The Mollys," and performed throughout the Northwest for three years. Wheeler was a featured soloist at the Ernest Bloch Music Festival Two-Piano Institute in 2000 and 2002, and has been active as a performer, teacher and accompanist. In May, Wheeler will complete her master's in piano performance and pedagogy at the University of Oklahoma. She plans to return to the Portland area in June to resume piano teaching and concert performances.

Thirteen Linfield students, all pianists and organists, will perform during "Keyboard Kapers" Monday, Feb. 24, at 4 p.m. The students, all music majors or minors at Linfield, will perform works by Bach, Chopin, Haydn, Schubert and others. The music will cover a variety of periods including baroque, classical, romantic and 20th century. Students are instructed by Jill Timmons, professor of music; Greg Bowers, assistant professor of music; and Cheryl Collins, adjunct professor of music.

Timmons, on piano, will be featured in a recital with guest artist Janice Johnson, soprano, Friday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. The two have performed as a duo throughout the Northwest since 1998. Their program will feature works for voice and piano by Liszt, Berlioz and Wagner.

Timmons has performed internationally as both a solo and ensemble artist, presenting recitals at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall and the National Gallery of Art. She has toured throughout Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Spain and Chile. In the U.S., she has performed under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Arts, was the recipient of a recording grant from the NEA and has been heard on National Public Radio. In March, she and Judith Cohen will release "In Tandem ? Music for Two Pianos," Capstone Records, New York.

Johnson, a member of the Willamette University music department, has appeared with the Oregon Symphony, The Third Angle New Music Ensemble and other groups. She has been a guest artist at the Cascade, Sunriver and Ernest Bloch Music Festivals and, along with Timmons, a regular performer at Portland's Trinity Cathedral. Nationally, she has participated in the Aspen Music Festival, the Chautauqua Institute and the San Antonio Festival.

Timmons said the upcoming events are an example of Linfield's thriving piano program, which provides students the opportunity to play instruments ranging from a concert grand Steinway to one of the finest Casavant organs in the United States. Guest artists and summer programs, including the Two-Piano Institute at the Ernest Bloch Festival in Newport, add to the array of Linfield's keyboard offerings.

"There are a multitude of things going on at Linfield, and we have breadth as well as depth," added Timmons. "Our students range from those who will be graduate school bound as professionals, to very accomplished pianists who are minors. They're all driven by a passion for the piano and for making music."

For more information, contact the Linfield Music Department at 503-883-2275.