The Cherry Hill Foundation will present its annual student concert in Inez on Sunday, June 12th at 3:00 PM. East Carolina Professor of Piano Dr. Keiko Sekino will introduce five of her most gifted students to the Cherry Hill audience. The students, who are in either the undergraduate or graduate programs at East Carolina, have displayed unusual talent and even at their young ages have experience in teaching and performing while pursuing degrees at the Greenville university.
Brandon Banks began musical studies at age 14 in his hometown of New Bern. This spring he graduated from East Carolina with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education. He was named the Outstanding Senior Student in the Keyboard Department. After graduate school, Brandon hopes to pursue a career in New York City as an accompanist.
Sydney Lukert began studying piano at the age of nine. She attended the North Carolina School of the Arts and has attended Brevard Music Center and the Eastern Music Festival. At ECU Sydney is majoring in piano performance and is an active performer of both solo and chamber music.
Irem Ozay, a native of Turkey, has lived in the US since the age of seven. She began studying piano at the age of 8 and studied at the Raleigh Conservatory of Music until 2009. Irem has been teaching piano since the age of 14 and had 40 students in her studio last year. She has been awarded a full graduate assistantship to East Carolina starting in the fall of 2016, where she will work toward her Master of Music degree.
Anna Beth Rucker began studying piano at the age of 5. She received a Bachelor of Music degree at East Carolina, graduating Summa Cum Laude in the spring of 2015. She was named the Outstanding Senior Student of the ECU Keyboard Department that year. She has taught piano since she was 15 and plans to continue graduate studies in Piano Pedagogy.
Matthew Young grew up in Rocky Mount where he began playing saxophone in the 6th grade and then began piano studies at age 13. A graduate of Rocky Mount Academy, Matthew served as pianist for Stonewall Manor, accompanied groups at competitions and performances and currently plays for services in local churches. He has just completed his freshman year at East Carolina where he is pursuing a degree in Piano Performance. He is the grandson of Herbert Charles Davis, formerly of Warrenton.
The program will include solo works by Brahms, Greig, Tchaikovsky, Bach, Liszt, and Prokofiev, and Brahms Waltzes Op. 39 for four hands.
There will be no admission charged for this event, although donations will be gratefully accepted. Following the performance, refreshments will be served in the dining room of the 1850’s plantation home of the George Washington Alston family.