Spotlight on music teachers

Grayson Schlosser will delight the audience with two numbers at the Feb. 23 concert: “Steampunk Madness,” his own composition and “Human Nature,” a Michael Jackson number arranged by pianist Peter Bence. (Courtesy photo)

Lincoln County Oregon Music Teachers Association (OMTA) will present an afternoon benefit concert for the Suzanne Brown Student Aid Fund on Sunday, Feb. 23, at 2 p.m. at the Newport Performing Arts Center, 777 W Olive St. in Newport. Admission is by donation.

“The spotlight concerts are the primary means of funding our scholarships,” said Rita Warton, president of the local district. “Our Student Aid Fund supplies money for tuition, books or event fees for students who otherwise would not be able to take private lessons from experienced and qualified teachers. Over the past 18 years over $20,000 has been given to many students, usually as partial help for tuition. We want everyone to know just how much their support matters. Without that help these students would be lost.”

“This concert, ‘Broadway, Movies & Fun!’ is truly an eclectic mix from Broadway, light classics and classic rock,” said Jessica Treon, co-chair of the event. “Grayson Schlosser, one of our newer and younger members, will delight the audience with two numbers. ‘Steampunk Madness’ is his own composition which will bring the audience to their feet. His other number is ‘Human Nature,’ a Michael Jackson number arranged by pianist Peter Bence.

“For this piece, Schlosser has arranged to have two percussionists on stage who have never played in one of our concerts. Joanne Shamey plays congas for the Lincoln Pops Orchestra. She also plays and sings in the Bringetto Jazz Duo. Master Drummer Abdoulaye Thioub is from a family of master drummers and dancers from Senegal. He teaches West African drumming and dance in Newport. We are always excited to have new faces in our concerts.”

Mary Morganti, an OMTA member, will also rock the stage with a medley of Beatles tunes arranged by Phillip Keveren. Cathy Champion-Predmore and Treon will perform a duet arrangement of “All of Me” by Jon Schmidt on piano. Schmidt is best known for his performances and recordings as The Piano Guys. The OMTA Piano Quartet — Predmore, Treon, Mary Lee Scoville and Rita Warton — will perform “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” written by Billy Joel and arranged by Gary D. Belshaw.

“Lest you think we are neglecting the Broadway classics, there will still be selections by George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and Stephen Sondheim, as well as lesser known composers to fill out the program,” said Scoville, who is also a co-chair. “There will also be a dash of Scott Joplin, Aaron Copeland and a little Verdi opera. We definitely aim to entertain!”

Other performers include guests Milo Graamans, Alexander Lundquist and Katrina Theodore, and OMTA members Christine McKenney, Donna Olson and Leatrice Lily.

For more information about the concert contact Jessica Treon at 541-563-4183, or visit Lincoln County Oregon Music Teachers Association on Facebook or on the web at www.omta-lincolncounty.org.

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