|Heather McEwen Goldman returns to perform in BG|
|Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Arts & Entertainment Editor|
|Thursday, 31 May 2012 09:25|
Since Goldman departed Bowling Green almost 10 years ago, she’s done a lot... earned a couple degrees, taught at an inner city school, competed at the collegiate level as a swimmer, and circled back to the piano.
Goldman is currently studying for a master’s degree in piano accompanying and chamber music at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester.
On Saturday at 2 p.m. she and soprano Adelaide Boedecker, also an Eastman student, will perform the Sixth Atrium Piano Birthday Celebration at the Wood County District Public Library. They will perform a mix of arias, art songs and show tunes. Also, pianist Phil Dupont will perform an etude by Gyorgy Ligeti.
Goldman, the daughter of Scott McEwen and the late Robin McEwen, came up on the Bowling Green music scene, one of a clutch of prize winning pianists from the studio of Virginia Marks.
She performed with the Toledo Symphony as winner of the Toledo Symphony Guild’s Young Artist competition and as well as winning other competitions. She also had great success as a duo pianist with Tiffany Fong.
Goldman said she has always liked playing with other musicians. In junior high, she began accompanying other students at the solo and ensemble festival and in high school played piano for the choir. She attended to the Kinhaven Music Festival in Vermont where she focused on chamber music.
Goldman brought that love of musical collaboration to her studies in piano performance first at Bowling Green State University and then at Manhattan School of Music.
“I’ve always known I wanted to be a collaborative pianist,” she said. “When I was in college I spent more time playing for singers and instrumentalists than I did playing my own solo pieces, which is one of the points of friction I had with my teachers.”
Uncertain about where she fit in. Goldman decided she wanted to explore interests outside of music, so she transferred to Hunter College in New York where she ended up majoring in history, and joining the swim team.
She said she’s not sure how she ended up joining the team, other than the team needed a breaststroker.
“That was one of the highlights of going to school there,” she said.
After college, she signed up as a New York City Teaching Fellow and taught middle and high school algebra and geometry at City College Academy of the Arts, a public school in the Washington Heights section of New York. The students, she said, were 98 percent of Dominican heritage.
During this time she earned a master’s in education, but after four years, she decided teaching just wasn’t what she wanted to do.
“I enjoyed a lot of it,” she said, “but I found a lot of it incredibly challenging and frustrating.”
Still the experience gave her a boost in confidence, knowing she could do a job she’d never would have thought she’d be able to do.
She decided she couldn’t see herself teaching for 25 years, so she turned her sights elsewhere.
She had played little over the intervening years. At her school she was involved in a few music programs. Then she started seriously playing piano again, and it felt good. It felt like what she wanted to do, what she should be doing.
When she applied to the Eastman program in piano accompanying and chamber music, she didn’t expect to be accepted.
She was. Now all her playing is with other musicians.
Goldman is assigned to work with six other students, including Boedecker. Two are singers, three are string players and one a clarinetist. This involves not only preparing for and performing recitals, but also playing during their lessons. The teachers are “amazing performers and musicians and I get coached by them every week.”
When she was invited to perform at the piano gala she immediately started thinking about which one of those collaborators she’d have perform with her. Boedecker was an obvious choice. “She has a lot of charisma and a beautiful voice,” Goldman said.
She and Goldman have already presented several concerts in libraries around Rochester.
While many of the pieces were prepared for recitals and auditions, some Boedecker sings just for fun. “She loves musical theater and I get a kick out of it, too,” Goldman said.
That kind of give and take is essential for such a collaboration.
The key to being a collaborative artist, she said, is to enjoy other people and get along with other people “being able to respond and listen well.”
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