Pictures of this year’s amazing group of student performers. The evening was magical and a wonderful celebration of the holiday season. More pictures to come. This section is under construction.
Keith Cumbie began playing the piano at age 5 when he discovered in his Granny’s piano bench a book entitled “How to Play the Piano in Ten Easy Lessons”. He taught himself to read music but the fundamentals of theory and technique came much later in 1975 when he studied with Evangeline Metts President of Metts Music Studio. Mrs. Metts was a premier leader in group piano studies and when her studio closed in 1980 she had over 176 students at the studio. It was at Metts Music that Keith had studies with Dr. Robert Carter, Mark Violette and the celebrated and eminent composer Kenneth Frazelle who was fresh out of Juilliard at the time and teaching piano. Violette and Frazelle had been prior students of Clifton Matthews at the North Carolina School of the Arts. This familiarity led to Keith begin studies with Matthews in 1979 and attending the Tibor Varga Music Festival in Sion, Switzerland with a group of Matthews’s students. Chris Giles, Head of the Music Department at Wake Forest University, also worked with Mr. Cumbie and he attended WFU in the summer of ‘80 and spring of ’81. During the 2008-2009 school year he was privileged to study with world renowned pianist Barbara Lister-Sink at Salem College. He hopes to finish his studies in the near future with this remarkable genius.
“Mr. Keith” as he is known to his students began as a teaching as a substitute at Metts Music Studios while still in High School. Evangeline Metts refers to him as “a born teacher”. He continued teaching sporadically through the years and served as church musician for quite some time. In 2000 he opened his own piano studio in Florida, was very successful and moved to his hometown, Winston-Salem in 2007. NCSA Composition Professor and renowned composer Ken Frazelle has called him “the pied piper of children.” A title Mr. Keith holds in high esteem since teaching is the joy of his life!
Keith Cumbie resides in and teaches in the West Salem neighborhood where, in addition to his private teaching, he directs a program offering Group Keyboard Lessons on a sliding scale. His mission at this program called Music Can Change the World is that no child should want music lessons and not receive them due to economic hardship. He has composed for a play which was presented and received warmly at NC State Festival, performed at La Terraza de Marti in Key West Florida and attended Master Classes with Guido Agosti among other prominent pianists.
Daphne Nichols began her piano studies as part of a musical family in her hometown of Machiasport, Maine. At the age of 11, she performed with the Arcady Festival Orchestra on Maine Public Radio. She was the winner of the 2002 Ocy Downs Maine State Piano Prize and has performed on National Public Radio’s From The Top. Ms. Nichols has played in master classes for Nelita True, Stanislav Ioudenitch, Marian Hahn, Gabriel Chodos, Jane Coop, and William Grant Nabore.
In 2005, Ms. Nichols graduated from the Walnut Hill School for the Arts, where she studied with Jonathan Bass in the New England Conservatory’s Preparatory Division. She attended Northwestern University’s School of Music and in 2009 completed her Bachelor of Music under the tutelage of Barbara Lister-Sink at Salem College. Ms. Nichols was the 2007 recipient of the Jean and Harvey Picker Senior Prize in the Maine Bay Chamber Concerts’ Young Stars Competition. In the same year, she won first prize at the Anne Gannett Scholarship Competition for undergraduate music majors in Maine. In 2009, she was one of two piano finalists for the North Carolina Symphony Concerto Competition.
Ms. Nichols currently lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She has performed for the West Side Civic Theater, Salem College Pierrettes, churches in Trinity and Winston-Salem, and as an accompanist for college and conservatory students. She teaches at Music Can Change the World, a piano studio with scholarships for low-income children.
Photographs of just a few students performing quite professionally December 15th, 2008. Look here for recordings of this event soon!!!