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Fort Hays music faculty members to give recital on campus

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The Bethel College Department of Music presents Kristin Pisano, clarinet, in a recital with Irena Ravitskaya as piano accompanist Sunday, April 19, at 3 p.m. in the Administration Building chapel.

Both musicians are on the faculty of Fort Hays State University in Hays. The recital is free and open to the public.

The program will include two pieces by Claude Debussy, “Petite Pièce” and “Première Rhapsody”; Fantasiestücke, op. 73 by Robert Schumann; Suite pour clarinette seule, op. 64 by Raffaele d’Alessandro; and Sonata for Clarinet and Piano by Leonard Bernstein.

Kristin Pisano is assistant professor of clarinet and saxophone in the FHSU Department of Music, where she also teaches music history. She currently serves as principal clarinetist with the Wichita Grand Opera, a position she has held since the company’s formation in 2002. In this capacity, she has performed concerts with world-renowned tenor stars Placido Domingo and the late Luciano Pavarotti.

Pisano has performed repeatedly with the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. She has played as a soloist on several occasions with the Hays Symphony Orchestra and the FHSU Wind Ensemble. Her additional performing experience includes the Florida Symphonic Pops Orchestra, the Florida Philharmonic, the Miami Symphony, the Miami City Ballet and the Johnson City (Tenn.) Symphony. In the spring of 2007, Pisano traveled to Taiwan, where she presented recitals and master classes at universities and other venues across the nation.

Within the FHSU Department of Music, she serves as director of the Cottonwood Chamber Music Festival, a week-long festival of collaborative chamber music performed by FHSU music faculty and world-renowned artists. She actively serves as adjudicator and clinician at local, regional and national festivals, most notably the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival (University of Idaho) and the Sitka (Alaska) Fine Arts Camp.

Pisano earned the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in clarinet performance from the University of Miami. She holds a bachelor‘s degree from the University of New Hampshire. Her past teaching experiences includes East Tennessee State University and the University of Miami. She is a member of the International Clarinet Association, Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, the College Music Society and the Kansas Music Educator’s Association.

Irena Ravitskaya has taught on the faculties at Indiana University and Boise State University and she is currently assistant professor of music at Fort Hays State University. Her performing and teaching career has taken her across Europe and the United States. Born in Moldova, she began playing the piano at age six. At nine, she won the National Competition of Moldova, and at 16, the Young Artists State Competition, followed by an invitation to perform with the National Symphony Orchestra. Her performances have been broadcast on national radio and Moldova state television. She later studied at Moldova State Conservatory.

After immigrating to the United States in 1995, Ravitskaya earned her Master of Music degree at Boise State University and her Doctor of Music degree in piano performance at Indiana University, where she studied with Luba Edlina-Dubinsky, a member of the world-famous Borodin Trio.

Ravitskaya’s repertoire encompasses works from baroque to modern, with a particular emphasis in the music of Beethoven, Chopin and Russian composers. Her orchestral engagements have included the Moldova State Philharmonic, Moldova National Orchestra, Boise State Symphony Orchestra, Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Indiana University Symphony Orchestra. Aside from extensive solo engagements, she is in high demand as a chamber and vocal collaborator.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in Forbes.com’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at www.bethelks.edu.

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