Tia Lehman-Pearsall

Bainbridge Island, WA

Piano performance major with the collaborative emphasis and a French minor

What are your interests/activities/ensembles at Lawrence?

Opera, Kinkaviwo

What repertoire are you working on right now?

Mozart Sonata K. 333, Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by Liszt, Barcarolle by Chopin, some Debussy

What's the best concert you've attended at Lawrence?

Too many to count, but some great ones were The Bad Plus, Denyce Graves, Robert McDonald, Mr. Mizrahi playing the Emperor Concerto, LSO playing Mahler, Roomful of Teeth...

What's been your favorite memory at Lawrence?

Listening to and singing in the War Requiem by Benjamin Britten

What drew you to Lawrence?

Catherine Kautsky, the open and caring nature of the Lawrence community, the curiosity of the students

What are your plans for life after Lawrence?

Working and travelling as a vocal accompanist, grad school for collaborative piano

More thoughts:

Through Lawrence I have been able to study abroad for a year in Paris at the Ecole Normale de Musique while also fulfilling all of my degree requirements. I also loved taking Freshman Studies as it gave me an opportunity to explore other academic disciplines besides music which I think is essential for becoming a better human being and musician.

Jon Hanrahan

Johnsburg, Illinois
Piano Performance, with the Collaborative Emphasis

Interests/activities/ensembles

Co-director of Lawrence Improv: Optimistic Feral Children. Editor for the Opinions and Editorials section of The Lawrentian. Accompanying Fellow. Concert Choir. Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, occasionally. Rehearsal accompanist for the opera. Working for the Admissions Department.

Current repertoire

“Serenade in A” by Igor Stravinsky, “Night Thoughts” by Aaron Copland, “Heartbreaker” by Missy Mazzoli, Nocturne Op. 62 No. 1 by Frederic Chopin

Best Concert

I’ve seen a lot of really incredible concerts here (from guests, faculty, and students!), including a lot of really talented pianists, but the one that really sticks out in my mind is Roomful of Teeth. I’ve never felt so energized by “classical” music, and I’ve also never heard such versatile voices and effective compositions!

Favorite memory

Someone’s already mentioned our performance of Britten’s War Requiem, so I suppose I’ll be more specific. The minute of silence at the end of the work allowed everything (musical, historical, personal, political) to really sink in. That performance was the most moving performance I’ve ever participated in, and I guess that final F major chord and the incredible silence really stands for the entire work, at least in my mind.

What drew you to Lawrence?

Sure, there were the Important Things (helpful financial aid, good food, friendly admissions folks, small class sizes, etc.), but ultimately, it was about the Feel. It was ambiguous, and it wasn’t easy, but once I got to know enough about Lawrence (and the other school), it just felt like the most rigorous and comfortable (the two don’t always go together!) place to put in my undergraduate work. The best way to get to that Feel was to really figure out exactly what I value in education and music, as well as what sort of community I belong in.

Life after Lawrence

I’ll apply for graduate programs in piano performance, collaborative piano, or musicology. I want to continue to perform (and, heck, maybe someday get paid for it!) and study “classical” music, but I’d also be interested in teaching, writing, and maybe doing some Comedic Improv training. I guess I just want to keep learning, that’s all.

Alek Wasserman

Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin.

Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance with an emphasis in Pedagogy.

What are your interests/activities/ensembles at Lawrence?

I'm involved in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Beta Theta Pi and Hillel. I've sang in Viking Chorale but currently I play with my contemporary chamber music ensemble, modeled after Professor Mizrahi's group, NOW Ensemble.

What repertoire are you working on right now?

Currently I'm learning the Chopin Ballade No. 3 in A-Flat Major Op. 47, Bach Toccata in E Minor, and a piece by one of NOW Ensemble's composers, Patrick Burke. It's called Unravel.

What's the best concert you've attended at Lawrence?

It's hard to say what the best concert I've been to at Lawrence is because there are so many more great concerts every year than I would have ever imagined. If I had to pick just one, I'd say Robert McDonald's concert my freshman year. He killed it on every piece he played, but I will never forget how inspired I was by his absolutely transcendental interpretation of the Chopin Polonaise-Fantasy.

What's been your favorite memory at Lawrence?

I have no idea what my favorite Lawrence memory is. Even though this school is so tough academically, I've had so many good experiences with almost every single person I've met, both in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and in the Conservatory of Music. When I think back about Lawrence after I graduate, I would imagine that the rigor of my classes and my music training will be matched equally by my memory of all the fantastic, interesting friends I've met and will continue to meet here.

What drew you to Lawrence?

Well, I was stuck between Lawrence and another, bigger name conservatory. On the one hand, Lawrence had a really cool campus experience and was still in Wisconsin. On the other hand, my second option had a lot of prestige. But when it came down to it, the warmth and welcoming feeling I got from the members of the piano faculty was what was really important to me. Here I'd heard wonderful feedback from them and I knew who I would study with if I came to Lawrence. The other school's conservatory by itself was as big as both the College and the Conservatory at Lawrence, and that included graduate students. What that meant was that if I'd gone there, I would have been just a number, just another freshman who may not have even been able to take lessons from a real professor. There was no way that those uncertainties could even happen at Lawrence.

What are your plans for life after Lawrence?

I'm not completely sure yet, but after Lawrence I want to probably go to grad school for piano pedagogy and/or music education and be some combination of a piano teacher and high school orchestra or choir teacher, leaning more towards choir.

Elizabeth Vaughan

Elizabeth Vaughan is the recent recipient of second prize in the MTNA Divisional Young Artists Competition, held Jan. 11, 2014 at Baldwin-Wallace College, Ohio. Elizabeth is 20 years old and was competing with undergraduates and graduates of 19-26 years old in a five state area.

Elizabeth  is a junior double major in voice and piano in the studios of Joanne Bozeman and Catherine Kautsky, respectively. She is from Highland Park, IL and attended Interlochen Arts Academy before matriculating at Lawrence in Fall, 2011.

She was a finalist in the Schubert Club competition in Spring, 2013 and received Honorable Mention in the MTNA Senior Division State Competition in 2011 and Honorable Mention in the MTNA Young Artist State Competition in 2012. She has also received numerous honors for her vocal performance, including two second prizes in the NATS competition.

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