Music Lovers Can Celebrate Valentine’S Weekend



Photo courtesy of GCC

Kate Hamilton is part of the chamber music trio in concert at GCC Friday, Feb. 12.


Pianist Cecilia Cho, and her fellow musicians of the Mt. Vernon Chamber Players will present a free concert Feb. 12 at the community room of Gila Community College in Payson.

Valentine’s weekend in the Rim Country is bringing an embarrassment of riches for music lovers. There are three concerts planned. At Gila Community College’s Payson campus there will be a chamber music concert; the Tonto Community Concert Association is presenting a review of music memories from Hollywood; and jazz is heating up old Main.

Chamber music concert

Gila Community College in Payson will present a concert by the Mt. Vernon Chamber Players at 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 12. The program will be in the college’s community room and is offered to the residents of the Rim Country free of charge. The Payson GCC campus is at 201 N. Mud Springs R

Members of the group are Cecilia Cho, piano; Anthony Arnone, cello; and Kate Hamilton, viola. The concert will feature the works of Brahms and Mozart, as well as Ralph Vaughn Williams and Zoltan Kodaly.

Pianist Cho is an active chamber musician whose performances have been heard in the U. S., as well as abroad in Israel, Spain, Germany, France and most recently in Chile.

A native of Seoul, South Korea, she received both her bachelor’s and master’s of music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory under the guidance of Ann Schein, and was later the teaching assistant for Menahem Pressler (Beaux Arts) while a candidate for the doctorate of music degree at Indiana University.

Cho has been the winner of many competitions such as the Aspen Piano Concerto Competition, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Soloist Audition, Jewish Community Center Competition, and the national winner of the MTNA Baldwin Keyboard Competition. She was also the recipient of the 1999-2000 Arts Council of Indianapolis Creative Renewal Fellowship.

Formerly an assistant professor of piano at Bethany College and the University of Evansville, she currently teaches at the Levine School of Music. She is a member of The Potomac Trio (recipients of a 2001 Small Projects Program Grant from the D. C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts), Mt. Vernon Chamber Players, and the critically acclaimed Fessenden Ensemble.

She is a frequent performer and judge in the Washington D. C. metropolitan area and her performances have been broadcast on radio stations KHCC, WQXR, WAJC, WGMS, and WETA.

Hamilton, violist, began her career as the youngest member of the faculty at the Baylor University School of Music after graduate studies with Karen Tuttle at the Peabody Conservatory. Her undergraduate studies in viola performance were under the tutelage of Jeffrey Irvine and Kathryn Plummer at the Oberlin Conservatory.

She has also been the artist-in-residence and violist of the Esterhazy String Quartet based at the University of Missouri and associate professor of viola at Illinois State University. From 2006-2008 she presented chamber music recitals and master classes throughout New Zealand, and was invited as guest principal viola of the Auckland Philharmonia and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. She also served as vice-president of the String Teachers Association of New Zealand (STANZA). Highlights of the 2009-2010 season include soloist with the Kansas City Civic Orchestra and the Lugano Chamber Orchestra of Argentina.

After winning a chamber music competition at the Oberlin Conservatory to perform with the Rogeri Trio, Hamilton’s passion and interest of the varied and unique role the viola plays in chamber music was solidified. Her solo and chamber music performances have taken her as an invited performer to the 2001 International Viola Congress (New Zealand), the Mozarteum (Argentina), Esterhazy Palace (Austria), Texas Music Festival, Canterbury Music Festival (England) and the Teatro Belem (Brazil).

Her commitment to perform new and lesser-known works for viola can be heard in her recital programming as well as Vienna Modern Masters, Pacific Records, and Summit Records (2010).

From 2001-2006, Hamilton was the recipient of a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to implement a string project program for young string players based at Illinois State University. As a result of this successful program, she was awarded the 2002 Faculty Research Award from Illinois State University.

Currently, she is on the string faculty at Concordia College in Minnesota (USA).

The music of Hollywood

The Tonto Community Concert Association will host Red Hot Hollywood Show at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 13.

From the silver screen to the Payson High School Auditorium stage, the TCCA presents a thrilling “red carpet” review of Hollywood’s greatest music memories. This latest Matt Davenport Productions Inc. show features a versatile cast of 11 who will sing, dance and recreate magical movie memories.

For this concert the TCCA has arranged for a “surprise special musical feature” prior to the main performance.

Additionally, two local restaurants are offering discounts to pre-concert diners who present their ticket that evening. Fargo’s Steak House is offering a 20 percent discount and Gerardo’s Italian Bistro is offering a 15 percent discount (both discounts exclude alcohol).

Tickets are available for this performance and the remaining concerts of the season by calling 928-478-4363 or paying at the door. Student admission is free with a paying adult.

Valentine’s Day concert

Jazz and cabaret singer Vismaya (aka, Ingrid Hagelberg) will perform at 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 14 at the Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St. Vismaya entertains local audiences with her unique jazz-cabaret style performances, and her “Red Suitcase” shows, where she weaves her story to upbeat traditional, original and genre jazz tunes.

Joining Vismaya on piano will be the lovely pianist, singer and composer Rachel Eckroth. Completing the group will be ASU jazz studies graduate and Show Low area music educator, Chris Long on upright bass, and Payson’s own Gerry Reynolds on the drums.

Advance notice of attendance is recommended to insure seating, and you may return an e-mail to, or call (602) 619-3355, leaving your name and the number who are planning to attend this event. A requested $5 donation at the door includes refreshments.


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