Friday, March 8, 2013

Dean of SOAC and friends perform in Lagerquist

by Taylor Lunka, News Writer
Faculty, students and members of the Parkland community gathered in Lagerquist Concert Hall on Sunday to hear pianist Cameron Bennett.

Bennett, dean of the School of Arts and Communication (SOAC) and a music professor, played alongside friends in the second annual event.

He is a member of the College Music Society, Chamber Music America, and serves on the boards of the Music Teachers National Association and the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra.

He was recently appointed by former Governor Christine Gregoire to be a commissioner on the Washington State Arts Commission.

In the Tacoma area, Bennett is a member of the Arts and Culture Grants Committee of the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation.

The concert featured him on piano, while friends and faculty Svend Ronning, Craig Rine and Richard Treat played their own instruments.

Ronning, chair of string division and associate professor of music at Pacific Lutheran University, played the violin.

Rine, professor of clarinet and member of the Camas Wind Quintet at PLU, played the clarinet.

Treat, member of the Regency string quartet and cello faculty member on campus, played his cello for the audience.

Bennett opened the recital with three different pieces he played solo.

The second piece, Piano Prelude No. Eight composed by Jason Bahr, made its world

premiere on the stage at Pacific Lutheran University.

After his solo pieces, Bennett’s friends came out for their first ensemble piece.

The recital ended with a piece played by Bennett and friends from composer Olivier


Bennett said he chose to end with this piece because Messiaen was "one of the most unique voices of the 20th century."

Bennett’s son, Julian, attended the recital. A freshman at the Tacoma School of the Arts, he came to support his father and his cello teacher, Treat.

Julian said "my favorite was the last piece when they were all together. "

Julian said he had been watching his father practice alone and said "it was

interesting" to hear them all together.

Junior Katie Wenndt, who takes voice lessons and has a music scholarship, also

attended the concert.

"I thought this performance was amazing. Dr. Bennett is amazing," Wenndt said.

She said she also enjoyed hearing the violin because it was tuned differently than a standard one.

Benett said this is an annual concert because of what it brings to the PLU community.

"It is important for administration and faculty to hold their status. You got to walk

the walk and talk the talk," he said.

He said it is also important for faculty to be productive in their field.

Bennett and others will perform again on Thursday at 3:40 p.m. in Lagerquist as part of the conference in Holocaust education.