Buies Creek, N.C.-Two works by Campbell University piano professor and composer Betty Wishart were selected for inclusion in a new CD, “Chroma: New Music for Piano,” performed by internationally renowned pianist Dr. Jeri-Mae Astolfi. Wishart’s compositions were two of only 12 pieces chosen from 164 scores submitted to the Society of Composers, Inc.
Wishart’s works “Remembrance” and “Toccata II” are almost diametrically opposed to each other in style, according to Dr. Richard McKee, associate professor of music and director of Piano Studies at Campbell.
“Remembrance’ covers a depth of human experience in a very short time,” McKee said. “From the opening statement of melancholy and anguish to the lyrical section, concluding outburst and quiet resolution, the music takes us through a journey of loss recollection and grief. â€˜Toccata II’ is a virtuosic piece that features fast driving rhythms.”
Other composers represented on the CD are Michael Glenn Williams, David Lefkowitz, James Sheppard, Brian Belet, Laurence Sherr, Michael Angell, Sanghee Lee, Paul Epstein, Alan Beeler and Trent Hanna.
Dr. Jeri-Mae Astolfi, piano professor at the University of Wisconsin, is an avid performer of musical styles ranging from the Renaissance era to the present. Her interest in new music has led to the commission, premiere and performance of many new works, both solo and collaborative, which have been featured on live radio broadcasts and on recordings. Astolfi will perform Wishart’s “Remembrance” and “Toccata II,” as well as another work by the composer, “Kohinoor Sonata,” in a concert commemorating Women’s History Month on March 22 in New York City.
“To say that I’m excited about the CD release is an understatement,” said Wishart. “Dr. Astolfi takes every note to heart, as other pianists do with their Beethoven or Chopin. Her musicianship, technical skills and interpretation of new music are without equal.”
Betty Wishart received a bachelor’s degree in music from Queens University and a master’s in music from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She pursued additional study in New York City. Prior to joining the faculty at Campbell University, she taught piano at UNC-Chapel Hill and in Coral Springs, Fla., where she served as district president of the Florida State Music Teachers Association, president and director of the Broward County Music Teachers Association and co-founder of the Pompano Piano Competition. Wishart has studied with Wolfgang RosÃ©, Richard Bunger Evans, Roger Hannay and many others. Her music, published by CPP Belwin and Conners Publications, has been performed throughout the United States and England, France, Italy, South Korea and Japan. In addition, she has won Composers Guild awards in several categories and has received awards from Delta Omicron, American Pen Women, American College of Musicians and ASCAP. Wishart’s music has also been included in the National Federation of Music Clubs Junior Festival Bulletin. She is the immediate past president of the Southeastern Composers League and the immediate past holder of the Composition/Theory Chair of the North Carolina Music Teachers Association. Wishart’s name also appears in Who’s Who in Music.
The CD may be purchased in the Campbell University Book Store. An audio sample of “Toccata II” is also available online at townhallrecords.com.
Photo Copy: Campbell composer and piano professor Betty Wishart