Carissa Ryan of Damascus and Janna Ludwick of Vancouver, Wash., will give the first Linfield student two-piano recital. Their program will feature French and American two-piano repertoire from the 20th century. The performance is free and open to the public.
Ryan, who will graduate June 2 with a bachelor of arts degree in music, and Ludwick, a sophomore majoring in both music and biology, have been playing together for two years. In addition to performing two-piano repertoire, both have performed individually and have accompanied choirs, theatre productions and soloists, so they are skilled ensemble players, according to Jill Timmons, professor of music at Linfield.
"They have a very special quality that you can't find just by rehearsing," she said. "They are of one mind. I don't have to teach them to play together."
In addition to providing instruction for Ryan and Ludwick, Timmons has been a mentor for them as well. Timmons has conducted research on the two-piano repertoire and has worked with Seattle pianist Judith Cohen on several recording projects and performances featuring the two-piano repertoire of the 20th and 21st centuries. She knows first-hand how challenging the music can be and commends the students for their work.
"The two-piano repertoire is very difficult," Timmons noted. "There aren't any easy pieces. It takes two soloists to play this music, and they're all knuckle busters."
Timmons said the students' commitment and dedication to their music, both hallmarks of a liberal arts education, are indicative of their success in life.
"It's unusual for students to make this commitment and still be able to keep their solo repertoire going, but they are both passionate about their music and that makes all the difference," Timmons added.
Ryan received first place in the Linfield Competitive Music Scholarship audition in 1998, and recently won the Monday Musical Club scholarship audition. She has taught music and piano, and has provided musical entertainment for local events and college functions. This summer, Ryan will be the accompanist for the Lakewood Theatre's production of "Quilters."
She is pianist for the Community Christian Church in McMinnville, and part-time organist at the First Baptist Church in Gresham. After graduation, Ryan will become the full-time organist at the Gresham church and plans to expand her private piano studio. She also hopes to earn a master's degree in piano pedagogy.
Ludwick received a four-year Music Achievement Scholarship from Linfield and was awarded the Jeannette Walker Memorial Scholarship. She is an active soloist and accompanist, who traveled to Southeast Asia as an accompanist for the Linfield Concert Choir last year. She is also a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society and a piano instructor for McMinnville's "Kids on the Block" after-school program. This summer, she will be a solo performer for the Ernest Bloch Music Festival Piano Master Class in Newport.
Jim Day of Day Music, who worked with the First Baptist Church to acquire a seven-foot concert grand piano last year, will provide a matching piano for the recital. For more information, call the Linfield Music Department at 503-883-2275.