Alumni return for Jordan Piano Festival

Marketing and Communications staff
Lauren Sturm Sclafani at the Steinway Spirio

Lauren Sturm Sclafani, '12

The 2024 Robert Jordan Piano Festival will bring Fredonia School of Music piano alumni back to campus in February for workshops and lectures.

All events are free and open to the public, with support from the Robert Jordan Piano Scholarship and Distinguished Lectureship Endowment established through the Fredonia College Foundation.

Featured events include:

Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. in Juliet J. Rosch Recital Hall. Lauren Sturm Sclafani, '12, will present, “Introduction to the Steinway Spirio.” The presentation will give an overview of the latest in piano technology at Steinway & Sons through interactive demonstrations of the Spirio - Steinway’s high-resolution player piano. To be explored will be the catalog of music, demonstrations of recording and editing capabilities, and connections  through Steinway's proprietary streaming platform, Spiriocast, as well as  explore how Spirio technology can be integrated into the everyday lives of performers and students. Ms. Sclafani is Chief Spirio Technician and Lead Sound Engineer for the Music, Technology, and  Media department at Steinway and Sons in New York City. In her time at Steinway, she has worked with hundreds of pianists and has become one of the most informed technicians regarding the interaction of the Steinway piano, Steinway’s developing technology and its relationship with artistic performance. She is a key member of the global development team and is active in music production for the Spirio Music Catalog and the Steinway & Sons Record Label, winning a Latin GRAMMY award in 2021. Sclafani holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance Pedagogy and a Bachelor of Science degree in Sound Recording Technology from SUNY Fredonia, and a Certificate in Advanced Piano Technology from the North Bennet Street School in Boston. Before Steinway, she honed her crafts at the Marlboro Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival and Tanglewood.

Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 4 p.m. in Juliet J. Rosch Recital Hall. Dr. John Patrick Murphy, '10, will present, “Piano Pedagogy in the 21st Century: Navigating Tradition and Innovation.” The session will explore effective teaching practices aimed to resonate with today's diverse student population. Topics to be covered include current trends in piano pedagogy research, empathetic teaching practices, characteristics of Generations Z and Alpha students, and the integration of technology in the piano studio. Dr. Murphy serves as Assistant Professor of Music and Piano Area Chair at the University of Oklahoma where he teaches applied piano, graduate piano pedagogy and coordinates the secondary piano studies program. An active clinician and adjudicator, he frequently presents workshops and guest lectures at the state and national levels. Murphy completed a Bachelor of Music degree with dual majors in Piano Performance and Music Education at SUNY Fredonia, a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano at the Manhattan School of Music, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Oklahoma as a Graduate College Fellow,  where he was awarded the Provost’s Certificate of Distinction in Teaching. Murphy completed additional training at Orford Music Academy in Quebec.

The same day at 5 p.m. in Rosch Recital Hall there will be a panel discussion, "Career Paths for Pianists" with Sclafani and Murphy, joined by members of SUNY Fredonia Piano area including Dr. Anne Kissel as moderator, Jiyong Kim and Sandra Leary.

The campus and community are urged to attend the sessions to hear about the panelists’ unique experiences and learn what could be possible for young musicians.

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